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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 July 2018, the Group launched an Annual Report with the following key recommendations:

  1. Government should ensure that the apprenticeships system – including the Apprenticeship Levy – is flexible enough to meet the changing needs of business, and allows SMEs to access the resources they need to contribute fully to the delivery of apprenticeships.
  2. Government should ensure that educational providers are equipped to meet the needs of a modern economy, providing programmes which are flexible and can be tailored to the requirements of apprentices and employers.
  3. Schools should ensure that all young people have adequate access to careers advice which explains the full range of options available, is delivered by someone with the relevant skills, and gives parity of esteem to apprenticeships.
  4. Government should appropriately resource schools to provide high quality careers advice and incentives to give parity of esteem to apprenticeships when advising young people.
  5. National and Local Government should work with employers and other organisations who work with SMEs, such as banks, to promote apprenticeships to their SME customers. Consideration should also be given to new ways of supporting the recruitment of apprentices through the pooling of available resources such as Apprenticeship Levy underspend.
  6. Employers should seek to provide a clear path for career progression for apprentices to ensure that an apprenticeship is an attractive choice for a sustainable career.
  7. More should be done to address the retention of underrepresented groups in apprenticeships, by ensuring that workplace environments are accessible throughout employment and not just at recruitment.
  8. National Government should work with Local and Devolved Government to ensure that the apprenticeships system is responsive to the needs of all parts of the UK but also provides consistency for employers who operate across the country.

Group Chairs

Co-Chair: Catherine McKinnell MP Labour, Newcastle Upon Tyne North @catmckinnellmp 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 Minute 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 Treasury Select Committee, which scrutinises the policy of the Department for Education, including on skills and apprenticeships.

Co-Chair Gillian Keegan MP Conservative, Chichester @gilliankeegan   Gillian was elected as the MP for Chichester in 2017. Having spent 25 years working and living abroad, working in the manufacturing, banking and IT industries, Gillian switched her focus to politics and was first elected as a local councillor in October 2014. In May 2015 she stood as a parliamentary candidate in St Helens South and Whiston, Merseyside, where she gained second place for the Conservatives for the first time. Gillian is particularly interested in improving career opportunities for school leavers and attracting more business investment. She is a great advocate for high quality apprenticeships, having started her career as an apprentice at Delco Electronics aged 16 – an opportunity which gave her the right start in life to go on and build a successful career.

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

Campaign Updates

Apprenticeships in a post-Brexit world

Despite years of repeated warm words and commitments, it’s clear the Government has failed to resolve the skills crisis facing UK plc, with studies suggesting as many as nine out of ten firms across the country struggle to recruit the skilled workforce they need.

Even with the highest level of unemployment and lowest level of employment of any English region, many businesses in my own part of the world – the North East – continue to report difficulties in recruiting the right staff, and regularly raise concerns about the mismatch that persists between the skills available in the labour market and the needs of local firms.

Read More

View the The All Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships Updates Archive »

Group Sponsors


Group materials


Apprenticeships APPG Annual Report 2017-2018 Toolkit: Helping SMEs hire more apprentices Apprenticeships APPG Annual Report 2016-2017 Organising an Apprenticeships Fair – toolkit for MPs Apprenticeships APPG Annual Report 2015-2016


Diversity, Disability and Apprenticeships – what more needs to be done to support people with disabilities into apprenticeships, March 2019

Apprentice Panel to Mark National Apprenticeships Week, March 2019

Parents, teachers, friends – Raising the esteem of apprenticeships in education, February 2019

4IR and career development – What skills do we need in education to prepare future generations, January 2019

4IR and the Workforce, November 2018

Brexit: Opportunities and Challenges, October 2018

March 2018 meeting minutes

Apprenticeships APPG meeting on SMEs, February 2018

DFT Year of Engineering – how can we get more women into engineering apprenticeships and other sectors?, January 2018

Parents, teachers, friends – how can we ensure better careers advice leads to more apprentices?, December 2017

Apprenticeships and the future world of work, November 2017

Apprenticeship reforms six months on, October 2017

Report Launch Meeting, July 2017 Annual General Meeting, July 2017

Diversity and Equality in Apprenticeships, April 2017

Apprenticeships Panel, March 2017

Apprenticeship Fair Toolkit Launch, February 2017

AGM minutes 2016

Income and expenditure statement for All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships for 2015-2016

Contact the Group

Connect  provide the Secretariat to the Group on behalf of the Group sponsors. For further information please contact Anne Mirkovic on 0207 592 9592 or

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