NHF reacts to sharp drop in apprenticeship take up

Changes to apprenticeship funding have impacted business, with a sharp decrease in the number of people taking up apprenticeships, says a new report.  The Department of Education data suggests that take up of apprenticeships has dropped by 61% since the changes, which included a mandatory cash contribution of 10% of the cost of the apprenticeship training programme.

For the hairdressing and barbering sector, this equals about £900 per apprentice, with the exception of 16 to 18 year olds. The NHF successfully campaigned against the government’s original plan to force small businesses to pay 30% of the cost.

The NHF has also highlighted the impact of the new Trailblazer apprenticeship standards for hair professionals, covering hairdressing and barbering at level 2. Supported by most employers, some training providers expressed concern about the new standards and the additional challenge of preparing learners for the tough new tests.

Hilary Hall, NHF’s chief executive said, “Worries about new standards will have contributed to the drop, but the NHF has consistently warned that changes to apprenticeship funding for small and micro businesses – who make up the vast majority of employers in our sector – would lead to a catastrophic fall in take-up for apprenticeships.”