Public Sector Target for 2021/22 Confirmed

The government finally confirmed the 2021/22 target will remain the same as before – public bodies with a headcount of 250 employees or more on 31 March 2021 will need to create apprenticeship starts equivalent to 2.3% of their headcount between 1 April 2021 and 31 March 2022. That means if your headcount on 31 March is 1,000 employees, you would need to create 23 apprenticeship starts during the course of the year. If your headcount is 249 or less, you are exempt from the target.

Other things to be aware of:

  • This is a new target and not a continuation of the old one. Therefore if you meet the target in 2021/22 you will be considered to have met it in full, rather than in the current system where you would need to have achieved an average performance of 2.3% apprenticeship starts across the four year period to have met the target;
  • There are again no negative consequences for employers if the don’t meet the target. As with the current target, you only need to ‘have regard’ to it. If you miss the target, you will be expected to explain how you have had regard to it in your return to government during the reporting period in the same way you do now;
  • The guidance published by government on the new target includes the following line:

In response to queries where the Council/Local Authority (LA) is the employer for schools and fire and rescue services, each LA may choose to show the information required for these organisations separately within their Returns.

You can read the government’s guidance in full here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/public-sector-apprenticeship-target

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