Apprenticeship Training Public Sector Target

Reporting period: 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

 

Number of employees who work in England

Number of employees who were working in England on 31 March 2017

10,049

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

10,181

Number of new employees who started working for you in England between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018

2,432

Number of apprentices who work in England

Number of apprentices who were working in England on 31 March 2017

26

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

114

Number of new apprentices in England between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. (includes both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship)

110

Full-time equivalents

 

6,957

Reporting percentages

 

Percentage of apprenticeship starts as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018. (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship)

4.52%

Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 2018

1.12%

Percentage of apprenticeship starts between 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March 2017. (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) 

1.09%

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 in the first year

BCC achieved 47% of the target across schools and corporate services combined. But reached 117% for our corporate services alone.
 
We have:
  • Increased staff to manage the work around the administration of the Levy.
  • Supported engagement with corporate services and schools.
  • Increased publicity and communications with all groups.
  • Increased the service offered to schools and driven more effective workforce planning using apprenticeships
  • Reviewed existing training routes and promoted apprenticeship programmes where appropriate.
  • Developed an in-house recruitment and employment service for entry-level apprentices.

 

Challenges we have faced in our first year of working to the target

 
We have limited influence on the recruitment of apprentices in our schools. Schools employ many part-time staff, which inflates the headcount and in Bucks we have many small primary schools in rural areas. The distance between schools are often lengthy. This makes pooling funds and apprentices between schools difficult.
 
Schools have struggled to find the additional money from budgets for apprenticeship salaries. Also schools have been unable to upskill existing school staff due to the lack of relevant apprenticeship training. In some cases, long-awaited programmes are still in development. Consequently, the uptake of apprenticeship training across our maintained schools has been much lower than we would have liked. Maintained schools reached 15% of the target. This has reduced our performance for the local authority.
 
Excluding schools we exceeded the target for new apprenticeship starts by reaching 117%. This was achieved by our recruitment of entry-level apprentices and by opening new apprenticeship training opportunities.
 

Next steps

We plan to continue our work with schools to increase take-up through:
  • The recruitment of apprentices
  • Developing career pathways to upskill existing schools staff
From September 2018 we are offering new apprenticeship training. This includes School Business Manager and Caretaker/Facilities Management. 
 
We will continue to use apprenticeship training to support:
  • The development of career pathways across the Council and within specialist services using the more specialist/technical higher level apprenticeships as they become available
  • Through the procurement of newly approved training providers.
We expect to see an increase in apprenticeship starts in year two, as more relevant apprenticeships become available.

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