The government has published its response to the Education Select Committee’s inquiry into nursing degree apprenticeships.
Despite ongoing lobbying to establish greater flexibility in the use of the apprenticeship levy, the response makes clear that the government will not be implementing the flexibilities NHS Employers has requested.
Responding to today’s report from the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Social Care, Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said:
“It is hugely disappointing that the government has chosen not to accept the considered recommendations of the Education Select Committee.
“Our frustrations with apprenticeships policy and the unwillingness of the government to reform that policy reflect three facts: the NHS is the largest employer in every part of the country; we are committed to using apprenticeships across our workforce; and we are being priced out of using apprenticeships in some of our areas of greatest need – training extra nurses in particular.
“I know our concerns are shared by other sectors of the economy, and we are all increasingly worried that the government is unwilling to make sensible changes to the way the levy operates.”
NHS Employers submitted evidence to the inquiry which requested flexibility to:
- use the apprenticeship levy to pay backfill costs for apprenticeships with an ‘off the job’ requirement of more than 20 per cent
- use of the levy to build infrastructure and supervisory capacity, in particular for regulated professions
- an extension to the timeframe in which levy funds are available
Visit the government's report section to view the Education Committee's report, including our submitted evidence.
Read the government's full response to the report.