Commenting on the NAO report into the Government’s apprenticeship programme, Verity Davidge, Head of Education and Skills at Make UK (formerly EEF) said:
"Today's report confirms what industry already knows; the apprenticeship levy is not working.
"Manufacturers have always been true champions of apprenticeships but the government's reforms have left many deeply frustrated. With one in ten manufacturers actively delaying or cancelling apprenticeships because of the Levy and 95% saying the Apprenticeship Levy must be changed its no wonder that starts have taken a nose dive.
"While the move towards higher level apprenticeships should be applauded, we cannot ignore the fact that manufacturers need a pipeline of trained staff from shop floor to top floor. There has been an increasing shortfall in technician level roles which has continued since the introduction of the Levy, which combined with the changes in the labour market driven by Brexit will have a hugely detrimental effect.
"Government needs to stop tweaking around the edges and use its current Review to really listen to employers and make radical change and make it quickly. With an evermore uncertain Brexit on the horizon, we cannot afford to wait around to see if the programme will improve on its own"