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On Tuesday, 17 September, the CBI published an important report ‘Learning on the Job: Improving the Apprenticeship Levy’ with the aim of feeding into discussions to improve the delivery of the apprenticeship levy policy in England.
The Open University's (OU) Commercial Director, David Willett, was invited to be a member of the CBI’s working group. All members of the working group shared their experience and ideas around the future of the levy in England. The report – which received coverage in The Times and Financial Times – highlights how the principle of the apprenticeship levy policy in England is working, but that the UK Government needs to be more transparent on the financing of the levy, and iron out some of the operational challenges in delivery.
As well as the OU contributing to the development of the report, the OU’s apprenticeship offer was cited as a case study of good practice. In particular, the report praised our partnership approach and highlighted our flexible model which can be delivered in multiple locations, or indeed in areas where there is little or no further/higher education provision.
The OU delivers the apprenticeship both online and face to face which gives employers and apprentices more flexibility to tie in with working life. It also can be delivered anywhere in the UK and so the OU’s expert nationwide practice-based tutors are able to support apprentices at their workplaces, wherever they are located. This helps address geographical ‘cold spots’ where there is perhaps no local HE or FE provision, or indeed supports employers across multiple sites.CBI: Learning on the Job: Improving the Apprenticeship Levy
The OU is a leading provider of higher and degree apprenticeships and in 2017/18 (the latest figures available), the OU was the second largest HEI provider of higher and degree apprenticeships in England, working with over 400 employers.