Following our round-up last week of the policies expected to affect the role of the HR professional, we’re delving a little deeper to take a look at what each of the front-running parties is preparing to do with apprentices in the UK.



The Labour Party wish to maintain the apprenticeship levy that was introduced on the 6th April. They also plan to double the number of completed apprenticeships at NVQ level 3 by 2022.

They wish to give employers more flexibility in how the levy is deployed, including allowing the levy to be used for pre-apprenticeship programmes.

They’ve also promised to protect the £440 million funding for apprenticeships for small-and medium-sized employers who don’t pay the levy and guarantee trade union representation in the governance structures of the Institute of Apprenticeships.

Lastly, they have discussed increasing the amount of apprenticeships available  for people with disabilities, care leavers and veterans, and ensure broad representation of women, BAME, LGBT and people with disabilities in all kinds of apprenticeships.



The Conservatives wish to establish new institutes of technology, backed by employers and linked to universities, in every major city in England to provide higher-level apprenticeships and bespoke courses for employers.

They also promise to continue to deliver on the commitment to create three million apprenticeships for young people by 2020 and explore teaching apprenticeships sponsored by major companies, especially in STEM subjects.

Conservatives also wish to allow large firms to pass levy funds to their supply chain, and develop a new programme to allow larger firms to place apprentices in their supply chains.

They have also discussed introducing discounted bus and train travel for apprentices, as well as a UCAS-style portal for technical education.

Liberal Democrats


The Liberal Democrats aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices by extending apprenticeships to growing sectors.

They also wish to develop national colleges as centres of expertise for key sector and increase the number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, to ensure gender balance across industry sectors and encourage under-represented groups to apply.

They’ve also discussed expanding higher vocational training such as foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships

Lastly, they have promised to ensure that all the receipts from the Apprenticeship Levy in England are spent on training, aiming to fund a wider range of types of training.





Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.