Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices

(asked on 17th September 2020) - View Source

Question to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what progress his Department is making on meeting the 2.3 per cent public sector apprenticeship target; and when his Department will meet that target.


Answered by
Victoria Prentis Portrait
Victoria Prentis
Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs)
This question was answered on 25th September 2020

As of 31 March 2020, the Civil Service has achieved a total of 2.1% of its total workforce as apprentices against the legislative target for the public sector of 2.3% by March 2021. Defra had achieved 1% of the total staff employed within the department.

In Defra group, we have taken the following steps towards the public sector apprenticeship target.

We have reactivated our ‘Early Talent’ Strategy for 2020/21 to focus on:

  • increasing the use of apprenticeships within external recruitment;
  • promoting the use of apprenticeships to support development of existing staff;
  • increasing and maximising the use of the levy; and
  • using targeted apprenticeship recruitment to improve the diversity of our workforce.

We have identified a number of levers that can be used to achieve the above and these are actively being discussed within the business. We continue to enhance the information and tools available to line managers to improve understanding.

While there are a number of standards that we can actively use, given the unique nature and breadth of our activities in Defra group, we continue to explore and invest in trailblazer activity.

Defra group has been focused on delivery against EU exit requirements and more recently COVID-19. Defra remains committed to the Civil Service Apprenticeship Strategy and is looking to increase our use of apprenticeships across Defra group over the next 12 months.

Given this target is a percentage of the total workforce, the percentage changes in line with workforce fluctuations over time, therefore making it challenging to predict when a department will meet the target. The data for 2018/19 can be found on the GOV.UK website at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/civil-service-apprenticeship-data-2018-to-2019. The data for 2019/20 will be released on GOV.UK by the end of September 2020.

Departments are committed to increasing the number of apprentices across the Civil Service and continue to work towards the 2.3% target. The impact of the current pandemic has slowed recruitment due to priority work and logistics. With the current strategy and targets coming to an end in April 2021, the Civil Service is already focusing on how to continue to support the apprenticeship agenda and drive forward apprenticeship recruitment, pulling on the Plan for Jobs initiative and considering the current economic situation.

This content was generated for your convenience by Parallel Parliament and does not form part of the official record.
Recent Documents related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices

1. Interdependence of modern farming and the environment
08/03/2019 - Parliamentary Research

Found: Interdependence of modern farming and the environment By Sarah Coe Nikki Sutherland A 90-minute

2. Public sector apprenticeship target reporting: research reports
22/10/2020 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: Public sector apprenticeship target reporting Research report 1004 October 2020 BMG Research

3. Spending Round 2019: document
04/09/2019 - HM Treasury
- View source

Found: receives a superb education; reducing crime and making people safe. It also gives government departments

4. Public sector apprenticeship target
09/02/2018 - Department for Education
- View source

Found: Meeting the Public Sector Apprenticeship Target Statutory guidance for bodies in scope of the

5. Spending Round 2019: document
04/09/2019 - HM Treasury
- View source

Found: receives a superb education; reducing crime and making people safe. It also gives government departments

Latest Documents
Recent Speeches related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices

1. Oral Answers to Questions
28/03/2019 - Commons Chamber

1: preventing fish rotting at the borders, what is the Secretary of State’s assessment of how tariffs or trade - Speech Link
2: village of Portavogie. Will the Secretary of State outline to me what progress has been reported to him regarding - Speech Link
3: it breaks the vertebrae of cod. Will the Secretary of State now work with the Opposition to bring forward - Speech Link

2. Oral Answers to Questions
03/02/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: is important that, as we build back better and progress the levelling up agenda, businesses in all parts - Speech Link
2: also tell him that we are working with the Secretary of State for International Trade on putting a proper - Speech Link
3: I wrote to the Prime Minister six months ago to ask what he was doing to boost this fantastic Welsh product - Speech Link

3. Forestry in England
11/01/2018 - Westminster Hall

1: considered the fifth report of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs Committee, Forestry in England: Seeing - Speech Link
2: and economic benefits. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs estimates that woodland provides - Speech Link
3: and the crafts that come from them as we do with food, farming and types of cheeses. It is an interesting - Speech Link

4. Oral Answers to Questions
15/04/2021 - Commons Chamber

1: there are concerns that Chinese steel is receiving state subsidies that distort trade, so, working with our - Speech Link
2: highlands and islands, so I genuinely wish the Secretary of State very well in her endeavours to get the removal - Speech Link
3: such as steel and ceramics, that receive unfair state subsidies that will distort trade and damage British - Speech Link

5. Oral Answers to Questions
12/11/2020 - Commons Chamber

1: people in York and elsewhere around the country are making, and what people are having to endure. As the Prime - Speech Link
2: the internet. Its work costs the UK Government 10p per child under the age of 15 in the UK. What assurances - Speech Link
3: have lost out as well. As an independent coastal state, we will be able to rebalance the opportunities - Speech Link

Latest Speeches
Recent Questions related to Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Apprentices
1. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Third Sector
asked by: Robert Halfon
03/03/2020
... what estimate he has made of the total amount of funding from the public purse given by his Department to (a) civil society and (b) campaigning bodies in each of the last five years.

2. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Public Appointments
asked by: Chi Onwurah
10/02/2020
... what support her Department provides to representatives of wildlife organisations to encourage them to take up positions on the boards of (a) parks and (b) other environmental organisations; and what training her Department provides to people wanting to take up those positions.

3. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Public Opinion
asked by: Judith Cummins
30/06/2020
... how much his Department spent on (a) opinion polling and (b) focus groups in each month since January 2019.

4. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Public Inquiries
asked by: Lee Anderson
30/06/2020
... if he will publish the (a) statutory and (b) non-statutory public inquiries being undertaken by his Department.

5. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs: Public Appointments
asked by: Jon Trickett
29/10/2019
... which public appointments she is responsible for.

Latest Questions