Every month, our experts comment on the biggest and most interesting recruitment news across the country.
In this edition, Gill North, business development executive from the Industrial team looks at problems with the apprenticeship levy as low skilled jobs are advertised as apprenticeships as well as key findings from the recently published gender pay gap.
Apprenticeships numbers down amid frustration
One year since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, a scheme supposed to created three million new apprenticeships by 2020, worrying figures show there has been a 24% fall in the number of people starting in-work training.
According to the British Chamber of Commerce the scheme is causing “confusion and frustration” among employers. Larger firms see it is an extra tax and smaller firms think the system is flawed by poor organisation and complicated systems.
The news comes at a difficult time for the scheme as independent think tank Reform recently reported that many high street firms are relabelling low-skilled jobs as apprenticeships to gain subsidies for training.
The government’s official apprenticeship website shows a number of high street firms advertising for apprentices in what appear to be unskilled roles. These include KFC recruiting an apprentice hospitality team member and Starbucks recruiting a barista apprentice to make and serve coffee in its branches.
Tom Richmond, senior research fellow at Reform, said: ”service sector apprenticeships could be of high quality, but many of these being approved did not fit the traditional or international definition of an apprenticeship.”
Key findings from gender pay gap
Last month was the deadline for companies with 250 or more employees to submit their gender pay gap data to the government and publish it online.
The statistics contain a wealth of information with key findings showing that 78% of companies pay men more than women and men also make up the majority of higher-paid jobs. Surprisingly there are no sectors that pay women more than men with the construction and finance sectors reporting the widest pay gaps.
Although the figures show that there is still a large discrepancy between pay for men and women in the UK, it is good to see so many employers submit their data which in turn creates a more transparent environment for us to tackle the gender pay issue.