It is not just the BIS Select Committee keeping a close eye on apprenticeships.

The Public Accounts Committee last week held an evidence session on adult apprenticeships after the National Audit Office’s report last month. The witnesses were Martin Donnelly, permanent secretary of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Geoff Russell, chief executive of the Skills Funding Agency, and Simon Waugh, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service.

Key issues were discussed, such as rebadging existing training and short apprenticeships.

Meanwhile, Mr Waugh said some of the biggest skills in the country are with people in the existing workforce.

He said: “It isn’t just 16-18s, what about the 35-year-old who has been let down by the system over last 15-20 years of their life? They came out school with very low basic skills.

They are condemned to life of low skill and low paid work.

“And going into the workforce, which we have, is fixing that problem which is inherent in our existing system.”

Mr Donnelly also confirmed interim chief executives will initially replace Mr Russell, when he leaves in the summer, and Mr Waugh, when he leaves at the end of this month, while they “work towards developing the Executive Agency model designed to keep all the best parts of the system.”

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