Almost one million temporary workers are being excluded from skills development opportunities because of a poorly designed apprenticeships system, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has claimed.
Updated with information on the planned extension of apprenticeship service accounts to employers that do not pay the apprenticeship levy.
The government is in serious danger of making apprenticeships unaffordable for smaller businesses, with reforms urgently needed to curb the continued decline in apprentice numbers.
The number of organisations being pursued by HMRC for apprenticeship levy underpayment has more than doubled in a year, as a growing number of businesses find it difficult to comply with.
Training providers have called on the government to remove the highest and degree level apprenticeships from the scope of funding in order to relieve growing pressures on the apprenticeship levy.
The government is unlikely to reach its target of 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020 and there are "concerns about the programme's long-term sustainability", according to a damning report from the National Audit Office.
Apprenticeship starts in the first quarter of the 2018-19 academic year have risen in relation to figures reported at this time in 2017-18, but lag behind equivalent figures reported in January 2016 and 2015.
Nine out of 10 (92%) employers want more flexibility in how they can spend their apprenticeship levy allowance, with some employers suggesting they would rather use the money for other methods of upskilling.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to learning and development costs and budget.