Today the CBI is publishing the first in a series of reports in 2019 on the apprenticeships and skills system. Getting Apprenticeships Right: Next Steps is a business-backed blueprint that recommends that the Government gives the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) the independence and clout it needs to reform and regulate the English skills system. It calls for a new wave of Government action to ensure apprenticeships lead to high-skilled, high-paid jobs, that fit firms’ needs now and in the future.

This report covers the apprenticeship system and the IfA, focussing on the experience of CBI members and how that experience can be improved.

The report’s key recommendations include:

  1. The Government must make clear that the Institute is the principal body for vocational skills in England with the clout to hold policymakers and the skills sector to account.
  2. The Institute must take further steps to speed up the apprenticeship standards approval process so that businesses can start using them.
  3. Given employer levy funds are due to start expiring from April 2019, the Government must urgently set up an appeals system that gives employers longer to spend their money where apprenticeship standards remain in development.
  4. With the IfA assuming responsibility for T-levels and higher T-levels, they must set out how these routes will work in practice to give employers and the public confidence in them.