The first year of the apprenticeship levy has been marked with mixed reports from the sector, with some organisations expressing concerns at the drop in participation while others argue that the system needs time to bed in.

In April the think-tank Reform published its 'Great Training Robbery' report by its Senior Research Fellow and former BIS official Tom Richmond. The report was critical of recent developments in apprenticeship policy and argued that the levy is not achieving its aims and on present indications is unlikely to do so. It concludes: "The Government is right to focus on apprenticeships, but this is the wrong way to go about it."

Is Tom Richmond right? We are delighted that he will be joining us on Monday 25th June to outline the evidence for his position, and that Richard Marsh, another former official and now Apprenticeship Partnerships Director at Kaplan, and Gary Hunnisett, Commercial Director at Smart Training and Chair (London South) of the London Work-Based Learning Alliance, will also be with us to respond to Tom's comments from the provider perspective.

This seminar will be chaired by the Campaign's Lead Adviser Tricia Hartley under the Chatham House Rule as usual; please note, however, that within these constraints Richard Marsh will be writing a report on the session for 'FE News'.

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