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Employment Law

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Veale Wasborough Vizards , 08 FEB 2016

Government consultations - public sector apprenticeship levies and closed recruitment

Government consultations - public sector apprenticeship levies and closed recruitment
Mark Stevens
Associate, Veale Wasbrough Vizards

As part of a wider review of apprenticeship schemes, the government has published its consultation paper on public sector apprenticeship targets.

The government has also issued a call for evidence on a review regarding the use of closed recruitment processes in the public sector.

Apprenticeship scheme targets

We previously reported on the government's decision to introduce an apprenticeship levy across the UK.

The government is now issuing a further consultation regarding their proposal for a 'Public Body Duty' in apprenticeship schemes. The duty proposed is for public sector employers to meet a target of at least 2.3% apprenticeship starts each year.

It is proposed that this duty will apply to public bodies that have 250 employees or more in England. These public bodies will also have a duty to publish information annually on the progress they are making to meet those targets.

The consultation sets out how the government decided on the target and the reporting arrangements. There is also a list of bodies that they suggest should be within the scope, which includes academies/trusts, free schools, foundation schools, government agencies and NHS Trusts with more than 250 employees. Schools which are maintained by a local authority will also be part of local government's target.

Organisations can respond to the proposals within the consultation by 4 March 2016.

Closed recruitment processes in the public sector

The government is also issuing a call for evidence to find out more about the use of closed, or internal-only recruitment in the public sector.

The government wants to see if the pool for recruitment for some employers in the public sector can and should be widened. Measures have been proposed to meet this objective, including imposing an obligation on public sector bodies to publish information on the level of closed or internal-only recruitment within their organisation, a cap on the roles recruited internally or even a general ban on internal-only recruitment.

Best practice

Whilst the consultation papers above concentrate on the public sector, it is likely that any decisions will have an impact on the private sector in the near future.

Private sector employers will be impacted by the upcoming changes to the English Apprenticeship scheme, which forms part of the government's drive to increase the number of young people in work.

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