Employers ‘will pay up to £18,000 for the right apprentice’

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Survey suggests perceptions of low pay may be inaccurate; IPPR says fewer under-18s are taking up apprenticeships ahead of new levy

The overwhelming majority of employers (92 per cent) would be willing to pay more than the statutory minimum for an apprentice if they secured the right candidate, according to new research.

Work-based training and apprenticeship provider Positive Outcomes said 60 per cent of businesses would offer between £12,000 and £18,000 as a starting salary, far higher than the minimum of around £10,300.

A report earlier this year revealed that 88 per cent of young adults were put off apprenticeships because of the perception low wages. Ryan Longmate, managing director of Positive Outcomes, said: “The combined research findings have thrown up an interesting suggestion – that despite young people thinking otherwise, employers are open-minded when it comes to pay and that, should the right candidate come along, they’re willing to pay more than the standard wage.”

The government released further details of the apprenticeship levy at the end of last week, with the CIPD among a number of organisational bodies expressing concern that the broader framework of UK apprenticeships required “radical reform” before they could be regarded as viable alternatives to a university education.

Fresh research from the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) backs this up by suggesting the most significant growth in apprenticeships has been among over-25s rather than school-leavers. It found that while there was a 30 per cent increase in the total number of apprenticeships being offered between 2010-11 and 2014-15, the number being taken up by 17 and 18-year-olds fell by 8,000 during this period. In 2015, over-25s made up the largest apprenticeship demographic, securing more than 360,000 places, compared to 315,000 19 to 24-year-olds and just 194,000 under-19s.

The IPPR said the government’s desire to hit a target of three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 had led it to prioritise quantity over quality and focus on adult apprenticeships, which are easier to deliver.

Charlynne Pullen, IPPR senior research fellow, said: “Apprenticeships should be a key route for young people to move into work. But not enough young people are benefiting from the government’s apprenticeship programme – and this situation could get worse in the coming years.”

The IPPR report warns that new ‘light-touch regulation’ of apprenticeship standards, coupled with the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, could encourage large employers in sectors such as retail to simply rebrand existing workplace training as apprenticeships to access state subsidies.

“Training existing staff in what they already know isn’t what the public thinks of as an apprenticeship. There is a real risk of the new apprenticeship system repeating many of the mistakes of the system it is replacing,” said Pullen.

 

Story via – http://www.cipd.co.uk/pm/peoplemanagement/b/weblog/archive/2016/08/16/employers-will-pay-up-to-163-18-000-for-the-right-apprentice.aspx

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