Evidence was heard from Paul Coxhead, Chief Executive of Logistics Apprenticeship Training Agency in the West Midlands and John Hayes MP, the Minister of State for Further Education.
Margot James MP asked Paul Coxhead how much help they had received from the National Apprenticeship Service (NTA) with regards to improved employer engagement. Mr Coxhead replied that it had been a positive relationship, despite certain challenges, and that the NTA had been constructive in their support. Margot also asked Mr Coxhead whether or not it was a realistic expectation for an Apprentice Training Agency (ATA) to attain a "sustainable" model in the long term. Mr Coxhead replied that it was, and that a lack of government funding made it imperative.
Margot also asked how further use could be made of ATA funding, and how it might be employed more efficiently. Mr Hayes MP suggested that better auditing and less bureaucracy would help. He was also keen to encourage more feedback from employers using the scheme. Margot raised the point that the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and NAS are similar bodies which might be better served combined, to which Mr Hayes MP replied that it was being "carefully looked into".
Finally, Margot asked how funding might be better targeted. Mr Hayes MP answered that it was important to recognise that skills are a prerequisite to a range of professions - such as hospitality and banking - and that apprenticeship funding should therefore reflect the "real economy".