The government’s new apprenticeship levy will cut funding for construction apprenticeships by up to 30 per cent, the CITB has warned.
The sector’s training body said the drastic cut in funding could see training providers stop offering construction apprenticeships and instead opt for more costs-effective types of training.
The CITB added that the number of companies paying for apprentices could be drastically reduced as training providers ask for more money to cover the funding gap under the new system.
The Department for Education unveiled details for its new apprenticeship levy earlier this month.
The details included the introduction of new standards for apprenticeship types, with funding capped for each type of apprenticeship across sectors.
Some of these new standards have been approved by employer-led groups. However, none of the construction standards have yet been approved by employer-led groups, which could take up to 18 months, according to the CITB.
This means construction training providers will be forced to use the existing framework, which will have its funding cut by up to 30 per cent from April 2017.
CITB head of apprenticeships Steve Hearty said: “The government’s proposed funding bands for framework apprenticeships raise real concerns for the construction industry.
“We support the new, employer-designed standards, because we think they will improve the quality of apprenticeships, and it is encouraging to note that the government states these will be funded at a higher rate than those recently published.
“However, standards for construction have not yet been approved and we are still working under the existing frameworks system and may well continue beyond 2017.”
He added: “The government’s proposed funding bands will cut funding for construction apprenticeships by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.
“We are concerned that training providers could stop training or they could ask employers to make up the shortfall in cost, which might deter firms from taking apprentices on.
“We have shared our concerns with the DfE and will be doing so formally through the formal consultation process that closes on 5 September.”
A DfE spokeswoman said: “Through our reforms we will be putting funding in the hands of employers. The system needs to be simple for them to navigate, choose the apprenticeship training they want to purchase and negotiate on price.
“We remain committed to a programme that helps young people into apprenticeships and recognise there are some extra costs associated with supporting them.
“That’s why we are proposing to give employers and providers who train 16-18-year-olds an extra £1,000 each to help with these costs.
“They will have freedom to use this money however they choose – for example, to provide extra mentoring support in the first few months of the apprenticeship.”