Public Sector Target

The Government introduced the public sector apprenticeship target in April 2017 in accordance with The Public Sector Apprenticeship Targets Regulations 2017. The regulations set a target for any public sector employer in England with at least 250 staff to employ an average of 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2021.

The target for new apprenticeships includes both newly employed apprentices and any existing staff that have begun an apprenticeship. All public sector bodies in scope must submit a report annually to the Government on their progress in meeting the target.

The Government considers the duty to 'have regard' to the target to mean that in making staffing planning decisions, we should actively consider apprenticeships, either for new recruits or as part of career development for existing staff.

Councils have until 30 September in each year to complete and submit their return. As well as the data return, we are also required to publish some information about progress made towards meeting the target.

How are we doing towards meeting the public sector apprenticeship target?

Reporting Percentages 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021
The percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) as a proportion of employment starts between 1 April to 31 March. 6.25% 21.95% 12.33% 9.68%
The percentage of total headcount of employees that were apprentices on 31 March. 0.78% 2.01% 1.68% 2.40%
The percentage of apprenticeship starts (both new hires and existing employees who started an apprenticeship) between 1 April to 31 March as a proportion of total headcount on 31 March. 0.76% 2.34% 1.20% 0.42%

What actions have we planned towards meeting the apprenticeship target in the future?

The Covid pandemic had a dramatic effect on our plans to recruit more apprentices. We have re-focussed our apprenticeship programme and whilst we are back on track to recruit more apprenticeship starts we have also committed to the following:

  • The council will take an active role in supporting the Mansfield Skills Plan by continuing to recruit new Apprentices as part of its workforce development
  • We are currently developing a new forward thinking Apprenticeship Strategy, which will outline what we want to achieve as an employer and the positive action we will take over the next three years to increase the number and range of apprenticeships within the council as part of our wider Workforce Development Strategy. 
  • We will continue to develop our apprenticeship programme to increase the occupational range and number of high quality apprenticeship opportunities. 
  • We will work with service managers to identify existing and future skills gaps and ensure that priority is given to apprenticeship pathways to meet these challenges and develop skills sets relevant to the current and future workforce. 
  • Existing staff will be encouraged to use apprenticeships as a means of developing their skills and career path within the council where a relevant apprenticeship standard can be applied to support talent management. 
  • We will embed apprenticeships into workforce planning across the council through mapping apprenticeship standards to job roles and developing career pathways. 

You can find out more about Apprenticeships on the GOV.UK website (opens in new window).