The Apprenticeship Levy could be reformed to include short courses in the future.
The system currently only funds apprenticeships that are a minimum of 12 months, with the worker spending at least one-fifth of the course in practical training.
As a result, short courses do not qualify under the Apprenticeship Levy, and employers are not able to receive funding for them.
The British Retail Consortium, UKHospitality, techUK and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation believe this needs to be changed, however, and have written a letter to the government to call for reform.
They claim it is “holding back investment” in apprenticeships that could prove to be vital to the future of the country’s economy.
If the Levy included short courses, they argue, this would encourage people to undertake programmes that last just a few weeks or months. This could mean they have more targeted training or individuals could gain skills and knowledge in several different areas, as opposed to just one.
Employers would also benefit, as it would close skills gaps by training more people in a short time. Additionally, it could encourage a behaviour of enhancing skills among those already in the industry, boosting expertise.
An area that is suffering from a huge skills shortage is engineering, manufacturing and technology, as a result of a decline in apprenticeships in these sectors over the last few years.
If you are interested in undertaking an apprenticeship in engineering, manufacturing or technology, it is a good idea to look up advanced learner loan online courses and see if there is anything suitable for you.