NEWS / ACE News / ACE calls on wider support for Apprenticeship Intermediaries praised in new IPPR report

ACE News

23 JUN 2023


ACE is keen to see how intermediaries can help drive up adoption of apprenticeships across the UK

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has published its review of Apprenticeship Intermediary organisations in its ‘Join the dots: The role of apprenticeship intermediaries in England’ report. 

As set out by the review: ‘Apprenticeship intermediary organisations play an important role in generating new apprenticeship vacancies, supporting employers to navigate apprenticeship administration and funding, and aiming to improve apprenticeship systems at strategic and practical levels.’ 

The review sets out 4 recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: Every SME should be guaranteed access to high-quality intermediary support via a comprehensive national network of intermediaries.  

Recommendation 2: The UK government should establish Apprenticeships Support England, an umbrella body operating at arm’s length from government, to ensure quality, consistency and economies of scale.  

Recommendation 3: The UK government should redirect funding from levy top-ups to provide core funding to Apprenticeships Support England and provide seed funding to support the development of apprenticeship intermediaries where gaps exist.  

Recommendation 4: The UK government should commit to formal evaluation to underpin future investment and support for apprenticeship intermediaries to build a robust evidence base on ‘what works’. 

ACE supports the role of intermediaries in their function to increase the number of apprenticeships in a particular place or sector, and our members have led on this activity in Wales through the Welsh Apprenticeship Alliance. The recently published ACE Manifesto also sets out members' views on the apprenticeship levy and a possible review to strengthen opportunities for investment in the green skills needed for the future. 

ACE is keen to see how intermediaries can help drive up adoption of apprenticeships across the UK, without more additional administrative and legislative burden which is a disincentive to employers taking on more apprentices.  

Speaking on the announcement, ACE CEO Stephen Marcos Jones said; 

‘The IPPR report highlights the need for additional support for businesses if we are to increase take-up of apprentices. ACE members have proven how this can be a success through their involvement in the Welsh Apprenticeship Alliance, and we look forward to working with the Government to replicate this success for apprentices in England.’ 

For more information on ACE and its work in regions across the UK, please contact