Schools will be expected to take on apprentices

Schools will be expected to take on apprentices in a bid to help the government to hit its target of 3 million such roles by 2020.

Ministers today published a consultation document outlining its plans to lean on the public sector to take on more apprentices as part of its drive.

Under the proposals, all schools with at least 250 headcount will have to take on apprentices, meaning that many local authority schools and academies will be hit by the duty.

In a joint consultation between the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education, ministers have turned to schools as well as other public sector bodies, such as the NHS.

Schools which are maintained by a LA and where the LA is also the employer are expected to be included in their own local government target,” the consultation says.

Other schools such as free schools, foundation schools, voluntary-aided, and academies/trusts with 250 or more headcount will be covered by the duty. This will exempt many schools (due to small headcounts) but some larger schools or multi-academy trusts such as the examples in Annex 2 will be covered by the duty.”

Upon launching the consultation, skills minister Nick Boles said it was time for the public sector to “step up” in regards to apprentices.

Our apprenticeships revolution has already given 2.4 million people the chance to learn the skills they need to get on in life, with businesses leading the way,” Mr Boles said. “Now it’s time for the public sector to step up and give those same opportunities as we turbo-charge our drive to give youngsters the best start to working life.”

Earlier this week, the Association of Employment and Leaning Providers warned that the number of apprenticeships was “not growing at a pace we would like”, despite the government insisting that it was still on track for its target of creating 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020.