A quarter of HR and Learning and Development (L&D) managers feel that they have been let down by their apprenticeship training provider with under a fifth claiming that their providers have not been honest with them.

New research by Paragon Skills, an apprenticeship training provider, reveals that 25 per cent of HR and L&D managers feel that they have been let down by their apprenticeship training provider and 15 per cent said their providers have even lied to them.

This has led to more than one in four (27 per cent) HR decision-makers contemplating changing at least one of their training providers.

The sectors of technology, finance and accountancy are most impacted by this. Under a half of technology employers (44 per cent) and over a third of finance employers (36 per cent) feel let down by their current provider. This has resulted in 55 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively, desiring to switch to a new training provider.

Despite this, employers are mostly positive towards apprenticeships with 45 per cent stating that their business has taken a more positive view of apprenticeships within the past year. Furthermore, 56 per cent of employers agrees that apprenticeships are having a positive impact on their business generally.

The biggest problems with the apprenticeship programmes are that they are failing to meet the needs of businesses and employers. Over a quarter of employers, (26 per cent) state that current apprenticeship programmes cannot be used as their content is not different enough from the qualifications employees may already hold.

Additionally, a fifth of employers (20 per cent) find these programmes unusable as they are not customisable to specific businesses.

The standard of tutors are also lacking with 26 per cent of employers agreeing that the overall quality of their apprenticeship tutors are poor.

Mark Botha, CEO at Paragon Skills said:

It’s tempting for some providers to minimise the pitfalls and likely bumps along the road when they pitch for a training contract to get an agreement across the line. But in our experience, if providers aren’t honest and instead overpromise, they invariably under-deliver.

Every business has a distinct set of needs and they have to be carefully calibrated to the requirements of an apprenticeship programme. That takes time, dexterity and, crucially, personal tutors who not only immerse themselves in the culture of a business but also have the integrity to be frank with a client if they foresee problems along the road.

This comes after a coalition comprising of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and other bodies wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sajid Javid asking him to broaden the apprenticeship levy, to allow employers to be able to spend their levy funds more flexibly.

Interested in investing in apprentices? We recommend the Apprentices and School Leavers Conference 2019.





Monica Sharma is an English Literature graduate from the University of Warwick. As Editor for HRreview, her particular interests in HR include issues concerning diversity, employment law and wellbeing in the workplace. Alongside this, she has written for student publications in both England and Canada. Monica has also presented her academic work concerning the relationship between legal systems, sexual harassment and racism at a university conference at the University of Western Ontario, Canada.