3rd March 2021

Education Policy Institute responds to Budget 2021 announcements on education and skills

This afternoon [Wednesday 3rd March] in the House of Commons, the Chancellor of the Exchequer set out new measures and funding for education and skills, including for apprenticeships and traineeships.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcements on education and skills in today’s Budget, David Robinson, Director of Post-16 and Skills at the Education Policy Institute (EPI) said:   

“The additional funding committed by the Chancellor for traineeships is welcome, given this skills development programme has been effective in helping young people to progress into employment and further learning. It is important that the government does much more to make young people aware of this programme and the opportunities that it can bring.  

“The new ‘flexi-job’ apprenticeship may prove positive for young people, allowing them to accrue important skills and experiences in a number of roles within one sector. It will be important to closely scrutinise the details of this new scheme, including how it will be implemented.  

“Proposals to increase employer subsidies for both adult and younger apprentices will no doubt open up opportunities for many people, but given we know that it is apprenticeships and employment opportunities for younger people that have been disappearing the fastest, they should be receiving a far greater share of these subsidies. 

“While it is encouraging to see an emphasis on further education in today’s Budget, there are still a number of critical issues that need addressing. Funding for further education remains historically low and educational inequalities in the 16-19 phase are substantial. We need to see a more enduring financial settlement for the further education sector, together with a Student Premium that provides more targeted support to the most disadvantaged.”