The public sector apprenticeship target was introduced by government in April 2017 in accordance with The Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets Regulations 2017.
The regulations set a target for any public sector employer in England with at least 250 employees to employ an average of 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts between ! April 2017 and 31 March 2021.
The target is for new apprenticeship starts which includes both newly employed apprentices and any existing employees that have begun an apprenticeship. All public sector bodies in scope must submit a report annually to the government on their progress in meeting the target.
The Government considers the duty to “have regard” to the target to mean that in making workforce planning decisions, public bodies should actively consider apprenticeships, either for new recruits or as part of career development for existing staff.
Local authorities have until 30 September in each year to complete and submit the return.
As well as the data return, local authorities are also required to publish some information about their progress made towards meeting the target.
Progress towards meeting the public sector apprenticeship target
The percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 was 2.68%
The percentage of total headcount of employees that were apprentices on 31 March 2018 was 0.80%
The percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) between 1 April 2017 to 431 March 2018 as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March 2018 was 0.60%.
Actions towards meeting the apprenticeship target in the future
- Continue to work closely with senior managers to raise awareness of the potential benefits of apprenticeships, both for new and existing employees, including “growing our own” to aid succession planning.
- Work closely with local learning providers in order to identify development opportunities for both new and existing employees, including new providers who are now registered to work with levy paying employers.
- Work with the Operations, Transport and Countryside Manager to establish a rolling programme of development opportunities for existing staff working in horticulture and LGV driving.
- Promote Higher Degree level apprenticeships available locally.
- In view of the decision to allow levy paying employers to transfer 10% of their levy funds to other employers, consider opportunities to provide support to smaller local employers.