Deliver more apprenticeships, Zahawi tells college leaders

Currently around 30% of apprenticeships are delivered by colleges.

Currently around 30% of apprenticeships are delivered by colleges.

17 Nov 2021, 11:10

More from this author

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi has issued a call to arms after learning that less than a third of apprenticeships are currently delivered by colleges.

He told the Association of Colleges conference this morning that he “knows colleges are more than capable” of expanding in this space.

In an interview with FE Week after his speech, Zahawi stopped short of setting an “arbitrary target” for colleges to aspire to because it “is wrong for us to do that” but urged leaders to be “ambitious as possible”.

His message comes six years after then skills minister Nick Boles told the same conference to stop letting private providers “nick your lunch” – criticising colleges for failing to secure more government apprenticeships cash.

At the time, in 2015, around 27 per cent of apprenticeships were delivered by colleges.

Zahawi told delegates today: “I would love to see even more colleges involved in delivering apprenticeships.

“Currently around 30 per cent of apprenticeships are carried out in colleges, but if we really want to transform supply we will have to grow that number. I know colleges are more than capable of it.”

The education secretary said the country needs to “ensure far closer alignment between colleges and employers right across our skills system” – and listed off colleges’ role in upcoming local skills improvement plans and urged them to also get involved in other programmes like skills bootcamps.

Just 10 out of the 36 providers signed up to deliver the national rollout of bootcamps.

Zahawi refused to share his hypothesis about why colleges have not stepped up their apprenticeship delivery over the past six years.

But he told FE Week: “My call to arms is to say, look, the colleges that have really focused on this and are doing it well, I’d love you to learn from them, I’d love you to scale up because you are very much at the heart of communities.

“Join us on this journey and be ambitious about it.”

More from this theme


UCAS aims for September 2024 rollout of apprenticeship tariff points

Admissions service will consult on the delayed plans by this May

Anviksha Patel

Scrap the levy transfer cap, say business leaders

Just 2.7% of apprenticeship levy payers have transferred funds to smaller businesses

Shane Chowen

Apprenticeship starts dip 12% after functional skills rate announcement

Starts dive month after officials announced funding fast-track

Billy Camden

Tory constituencies hit hard by apprenticeship levy introduction

Apprenticeship starts are down 26 per cent in the prime minister's constituency

Shane Chowen

Babington announces third CEO in less than a year

COO promoted after 'turnaround specialist' resigns with immediate effect

Billy Camden

Care apprenticeship provider slated for focus on diploma rather than OTJ and EPA

Ofsted also slams 'poor' training as director strips back staff numbers

Billy Camden

Your thoughts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *