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The All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships is a cross-party group of MPs and Peers which provides a forum for parliamentarians and employers to discuss how to promote the role of high quality apprenticeships.

About the Group

The Group works to ensure that apprenticeships serve as a pathway to a career and how the apprenticeship model can meet the changing skill demands from businesses. The Group has heard from all the top apprenticeship experts, including recent Ministers for Skills, top civil servants and business groups but most importantly from apprentices themselves.

In June 2017, the Group launched an Annual Report with the following key recommendations:

  1. Schools and colleges should provide better information as part of a reformed careers advice service which proactively encourages young people to take up an apprenticeship;
  2. Employers, schools and government should promote the different types of apprenticeships available, particularly degree apprenticeships, so young people can make better informed choices about their future;
  3. Government and business should support SMEs to take on more apprentices, particularly those in large businesses’ supply chains;
  4. Apprentice pay should be raised in line with their level of experience and qualification as they progress in their role to ensure that the apprentice route is attractive to as many people as possible;
  5. Government should promote and build the brand confidence of apprenticeships and address the geographical disparity between the perception of apprenticeships;
  6. Employers and government should seek to address age parity in apprenticeships and promote a renewed focus on apprenticeships for older people;
  7. More should be done to encourage those in underrepresented sectors to take on an apprentice, particularly women, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds, BAME and disabled people. All schemes should include mentoring for apprentices.

Group Chairs

Catherine McKinnell MP
Labour, Newcastle Upon Tyne North

Catherine McKinnell was elected the MP for Newcastle Upon Tyne North in 2010, following a career in employment law. She is a passionate advocate for apprenticeships. Shortly after being elected, she introduced a Ten Minutes Rule Bill, the Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) Bill, which called for the introduction of the requirement on public sector contracts having a firm commitment to skills training and apprenticeships. This has since become Government policy.

She is currently a member of the Education Select Committee, which scrutinises the policy of the Department for Education, including on skills and apprenticeships.


Alan Mak MP
Conservative, Havant

Alan Mak is passionate about the economy, business, and education and skills. He was elected as MP for Havant in 2015 and is the first person of Chinese and East Asian origin to be elected to the House of Commons.

In 2016, he launched Havant’s first ever Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair. An event with 50 exhibitors offering over 550 local jobs and apprenticeships. He is active in a number of related APPGs, including the APPG for Entrepreneurship (as Chairman); and the APPG for Small Business (as Secretary). In June 2017, he was appointed PPS to the Ministers at the Ministry of Justice.

Before being elected as MP on 7 May 2015, Alan had a successful business and professional career, having run his own small business, worked as a corporate lawyer in the City of London with Clifford Chance, and helped manage his family’s small business.

Information on all the group’s officers can be found here.

Apprenticeship reforms six months on – funding and public sector target

Date: 17 October 2017, 5.00pm – 6.00pm
Venue: Committee Room 6, Palace of Westminster

In April 2017, the Government introduced reforms to the apprenticeship funding system and introduced a Public Sector Apprenticeship Target.

Six months later, this meeting will be an opportunity to reflect on progress made and further improvements required. A diverse panel will seek to reflect the impact of the levy, including SMEs and non-levy payers and the public sector target on the bodies affected.


  • Joe Billington, Deputy Director of the National Apprenticeship Service, Education and Skills Funding Agency
  • Jake McClure, ‎Executive Director, City & Guild – on secondment from role as Head of Apprenticeships in the Cabinet Office
  • Candace Miller, Director of the National Skills Academy for Health
  • Craige Heaney, Head of Learning & Development Group, Centrica

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