Meeting the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target

Public sector bodies with 250 or more staff have a target set by the government to employ an average of at least 2.3% of their staff as new apprentice starts each year. As a public sector body in scope of this target, we must 'have regard' to the target. This means we must:

  1. Report our data annually (see Data Publication table below)
  2. Explain how we have had regard to the target, including the actions we have taken to challenge obstacles preventing us from meeting the target

Data Publication - Public Sector Duty

Bradford Council Reporting percentages 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 13.18% 14.07% 12.38% 9.3%
Percentage of total headcount that were apprentices on 31 March 0.99% 2.09% 2.20% 1.91%
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 0.80% 1.63% 1.58% 1.15%

The Council's apprenticeship targets

The government's public sector duty target is no longer required, however the Council will continue to increase the number of apprentices it employs.

Our Apprenticeship Strategy (PDF) set out ambitious plans to create 500 apprenticeships by 2021. Up to January 2024 the Council has created 1217 apprenticeship starts through new vacancies and upskilling existing staff. Here are some of the actions we achieved:

  • All vacancies at Band 7 and below are converted to an apprenticeship (where suitable)
  • All other vacancies are considered to be an apprenticeship role.
  • We have expanded the range and level of apprenticeships utilised within the Council to support skills needs and help raise skill levels across the workforce. 'Growing our own' talent is central to our workforce strategy and to train everyone to a Level 2 qualification.
  • Attend career/job events at local schools and job centres to raise the profile of apprentices and the opportunities at Bradford Council.
  • Increase the age profile for those that are aged 16 to 24.
  • We work with partner organisations to deliver a joint programme across the Bradford District and will utilise the transfer of levy for apprenticeship training.
  • As a large levy payer, we are continuing to up-skill existing staff through apprenticeship qualifications and also look at levy transfers to employers within the Bradford District.

Apprenticeships are in all occupational areas ranging from Levels 2 to 7, including vehicle engineering, business administration, various levels of management, web and media, civil engineering, chartered surveyor and the social worker degree to grow our own social worker programme with more and more apprenticeship standards being available. Our maintained schools are undertaking Early Years, School Business Professional, Business Admin and Teaching apprenticeships.

We have had some challenges along the way especially in light of COVID however our Strategy clearly details our plans to increase apprenticeships in our workforce in line with our skills needs and to succession plan for the future of the workforce. We will continue to have due regard for the Duty target and hope that some of the more complex issues and challenges are considered by the government (salary costs, expiry of levy) will be addressed.

For more information, please get in touch with us at or call 01274 434451/434450/431479.