Newsflash: Public sector apprenticeship targets

apprenticeship contracts

What do we already know?

We updated you in our February 2016 Newsletter Government reforms (3): Apprenticeships  that the Government was consulting on public sector apprenticeship targets.  The Government proposed that public bodies that have 250 or more employees in England will have a duty to have a minimum of 2.3% apprenticeship starts each year.

We updated you in our February 2017 Newsflash Public sector – New laws coming (very) soon… that the Government had published its response to its consultation on public sector apprenticeship targets and that it would soon draft regulations confirming those bodies in scope and detail of the reporting arrangements.

What’s new?

The Government has published the draft Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets Regulations 2017, available here.

The Regulations:

  • set a target of at least 2.3% apprenticeship starts each year, which can be aggregated over the four year period from 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021;
  • apply to ‘prescribed public bodies’ with 250 or more workers in England. Apprentices are included in the headcount, but workers under zero hours contracts or contractors are not; and
  • introduce the target from April 2017 to coincide with the introduction of the Apprenticeships Levy.

Prescribed public bodies’ include Government departments (other than GCHQ), Transport for London and its subsidiaries, ACAS, the Health and Safety Executive, and the Office for Budget Responsibility.  However, the following are excluded: BBC, Channel 4, the House of Lords, the House of Commons, the Post Office, some charities, housing associations and trusts, independent schools and financial institutions carrying out regulated activities.

The Regulations are subject to affirmative resolution and will be debated in both Houses of Parliament.

The Regulations will come into force on 31 March 2017 with first reports due in 2018.

apprenticeship contracts