SFA calls for reduction in apprentices aged 25 and over

The recruitment of new apprentices aged 25 and above is being actively discouraged in a new funding document published by the Skills Funding Agency.

The report, published by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) on Friday, states: “Providers should address the needs of younger learners, those with lower skills and those who are unemployed.

“Within the Adult Apprenticeships allocation for example, we expect a great focus on the recruitment of young people aged 19 to 24 rather than maintenance of current regime levels for those aged over 25.”

The ‘Allocations Methodology for the Initial Funding Statement for the Adult Skills Budget for the 2012/13 Contracting Year’, is the first time the SFA has said it not only wants to try and stop the growth in new apprentices aged 25 and above, but reduce recruitment levels as well during the next two years.

The SFA stressed its desire for growth in apprentices aged 19 to 24 in a previous report, titled ‘Outcome of Performance Management at Quarter 3 2011’.

The document states: “We have not been able to agree at this time any additional funding for new 25+ Apprenticeship starts.

“Although we are aware that freedoms and flexibilities allow providers to move money within their Adult Skills Budget, we expect the providers who are awarded growth to spend this as per the business cases submitted with the account teams. We want the sector to continue to focus on growth for those aged 19-24.”

FE Week has contacted the Skills Funding Agency for more information.