The number of people beginning an apprenticeship fell by almost a quarter (24%) in the first six months of the academic year.
Employers stand accused of rebranding existing low-skilled roles as apprenticeships in order to make use of funding available through the apprenticeship levy.
More than £1bn in apprenticeship funding available through the apprenticeship levy has not been used - and employers have just one year left to spend it.
The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has raised concerns that the Government is being too slow to publish guidance on off-the-job training requirements for apprenticeships.
Almost all NHS trusts in England plan to use their apprenticeship levy training fund, but would like more flexibility over how it could be spent.
Most employers feel that middle and senior managers would be unwilling to be seen as an apprentice, meaning that businesses will miss out on funding for leadership training as apprenticeships become a key source of employers' training budget.
Apprenticeships seem a convenient response to skills shortages in a number of UK industries. But as we celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, award-winning apprentice Magdalena Dyga says policy-makers and employers need to do more to show the value of this career route if they really want it to gain traction.
Employers that pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to use their training fund to pay for the development of executive skills, after the funding band for the senior leader Master's degree apprenticeship was given the green light.
The Government must take action to ensure that poorly performing contractors do not become essential to the delivery of public services such as training, a report into the failings of apprenticeships provider Learndirect has recommended.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to apprenticeships.