On 13th May 2019 Lord Fox asked the Government “how many people are currently registered as undertaking (1) Intermediate, (2) Advanced, (3) Higher, and (4) Degree apprenticeships.” The Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Christopher Foster, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: Is the Minister aware—and, if not, I and perhaps other noble Lords are ready to give examples—of the bureaucratic burdens and delays being experienced? For universities, the added obligation to report to and share data with the Education and Skills Funding Agency, as well as the three usual reports, is exacerbated by an identical reporting requirement for levels 2 and 7, NVQ and postgraduate. The burden seems disproportionate. For large levy-payers, there are unexplained delays in approving new apprenticeship standards. Will the Minister urgently address these to improve take-up?
Lord Agnew of Oulton: On the right reverend Prelate’s first point about universities, I encourage him to write to me and I will pass that to the Universities Minister. We have put a tremendous impetus behind the universities sector to engage particularly with areas of lower attainment. It now spends £800 million a year trying to reach areas where university access has previously been low. We now have 440 standards approved and another 50 in the pipeline.