Reaction to the Budget

Press Releases

23 Mar 2011

Jim Hillage, Director of Research at the Institute for Employment Studies, comments:

‘In today’s budget the Government has announced funding for a further 50,000 apprenticeships. This will take the potential number able to be funded in England up to 400,000, which was the target set by Lord Leitch in his review of skills in 2006. The key issues around achieving this target are not just funding, but touch on a number of areas.

‘Firstly, finding sufficient employers to take on an apprentice. Demand already exceeds the supply of places without this further expansion. The success support announced in the budget for small businesses to come together to provide higher level apprenticeship will be interesting to monitor.

‘Secondly, ensuring the apprenticeships are at the right level. Currently only a third of apprenticeship starts are at level three or above – where research suggests the nation’s medium-term skill deficits lie.

‘Finally, around achievement; although success rates have been rising in recent years, currently only about three-quarters of apprentices complete the course.’


About IES:

The Institute for Employment Studies is an independent, not-for-profit centre for research and evidence-based consultancy on employment, the labour market, and HR policy and practice. Its goal is to bring about sustainable improvements in public employment policy and HR practice. It was founded over 40 years ago.

About Jim Hillage:

Following an early career in industrial relations and pay research, Jim today delivers IES research and evaluation services to public policy clients. He draws on 30 years’ experience of researching into labour market and employment issues from an individual and an employer perspective and evaluating the effects and impact of policy interventions on employers, individuals and intermediaries.

Jim leads the Institute’s work on learning and skills which covers vocational, further and higher education and work-based training and skill.