Public sector apprenticeship target

The public sector apprenticeship target was introduced in 2017. Under this, public sector bodies with 250 or more staff in England have a target to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts annually over the period of 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2021.

Public sector bodies are required to submit data on the number of employees and apprenticeship starts annually to the Department for Education (DfE).

Barnsley Council apprenticeship reporting to the department for education (DfE) 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020 2020-2021
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 5.97% 16.73% 6.93% 15.6%
Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 1.17% 2.84% 1.63% 2.59%
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 0.79% 2.57% 1.12% 1.78%

We report on the actions we've undertaken to achieve our targets, outlining the challenges we've faced and how we plan to meet the target in future.

Find out more about the public sector apprenticeship target.

Our apprenticeship strategy

One of the actions we've achieved is to develop an apprenticeship strategy to make sure we take a more strategic approach to apprenticeships in the future. 

Our strategy includes four commitment statements:

  • We'll ensure that apprenticeships within the council are seen and valued as high quality pathways to successful careers, providing opportunities for new and existing employees to develop which meet the council’s current and future business and skills needs.
  • We'll ensure that the government’s public sector target is achieved through the delivery of successful apprenticeship programmes.
  • We'll ensure the council’s levy contribution is spent effectively to support the delivery of apprenticeship programmes in the council, maintained schools and, where appropriate, in partner organisations.
  • We'll offer care leavers a guaranteed route into apprenticeships.

How we'll achieve this

  • Increasing the number of new apprentices recruited to the council.
  • Increasing the number of employees undertaking apprenticeships to develop their skills and careers.
  • Ensuring that council apprenticeships are accessible to under-represented and disadvantaged groups.
  • Increasing the number of apprenticeship starts in maintained schools.
  • Reviewing and improving our apprenticeship processes and procedures.