Apprenticeship Training Public Sector Target

Reporting period: 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

 

Number of employees who work in England

Number of employees who were working in England on 31 March 2018

10,181

Number of employees who were working in England on 31 March 2019

10,359

Number of new employees who started working for you in England between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019

1,803

Number of apprentices who work in England

Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2018

114

Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2019

119

Number of new apprentices in England between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. (includes both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship)

90

Full-time equivalents

 

7,14

Reporting percentages

 

Percentage of apprenticeship starts as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019. (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship)

4.99%

Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 2019

1.15%

Percentage of apprenticeship starts between 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March 2018. (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) 

0.88%

Context

The public-sector apprenticeships target was introduced in April 2017 for any public-sector employer in England with at least 250 employees. This sets a target to employ an average of 2.3% of their staff as new apprenticeship starts. This includes both newly employed apprentices and any existing employees that have begun an apprenticeship between 1 April 2017 and March 2021.

Performance this year

Measurement of our target against actual headcount, rather than full-time equivalent (FTE) posts, has continued to disadvantage us as an employer, with a high proportion of part-time staff (particularly in schools). If the target was measured against FTEs we would see a significant increase in our overall progress from 38% to 54% of the target headcount.

In response to last year’s challenges, we have improved the apprenticeship offer to our corporate services and schools by:
  • reviewing existing training routes and replacing traditional qualifications with apprenticeship alternatives, for example, HR apprenticeships, Accountancy L7
  • using a wider range of training providers we can offer more specialist apprenticeships, for example, Senior Leaders Masters in Education and Civil Engineering Technician
  • continuing to promote apprenticeships to schools via our schools forums and to our services through introductory taster sessions

Challenges we have faced this year

As in previous years, school-based staff represent a high proportion of our workforce. We have little influence over the workforce plans for individual schools who are finding it difficult to fund new apprentices from school budgets. In addition, programmes that would be in higher demand, such as Higher Level Teaching Assistants and undergraduate teaching programmes (for schools) and Social Worker Apprenticeships (for non-schools), are not yet available or have had a delayed start. This means that new apprentices have been unable to start in the current reporting period. All services and schools are finding it increasingly hard to fund the backfilling arrangements for apprentices undertaking training, and for apprentices to meet their training time and assignment targets whilst juggling high workloads, risking non-completion for some apprentices. Pressure has increased for many staff this year as they juggle additional work created by our unitary transformation.
 

Next steps

Our move to become a unitary authority in 2020 will present new career pathways for our staff. We have been successful in securing some LGA support (via the Apprenticeship Accelerator programme) to help us review, refresh and strengthen our apprenticeship strategy for the new unitary authority.

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