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This blog post was published under the 2015-2024 Conservative Administration

Education in the media: 27 March

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Apprenticeships, Equalities

Today’s news review will look at the gender pay gap and the IPPR report on the apprenticeship levy.

Gender Pay Gap

Today, Monday 27 March, The Times reported that male chiefs of companies in the FTSE 100 earn twice as much as their female counterparts. The analysis also shows that three of the five female chief executives were among the lowest paid fifth of CEOs in the FTSE 100.

In a similar piece, the FT has covered that Schroders has become the first FTSE 100 company to publish details of its gender pay gap. Schroders revealed that fixed pay for its female staff was at 33 per cent less on average than the salaries of their male counterparts.

From April 2017, the government will be introducing mandatory reporting of gender pay gaps and bonuses for voluntary, public and private sector employers with 250 or more staff.

This is a key step in tackling the gender pay gap and the new regulations will affect approximately 9,000 employers with over 15 million employees, representing nearly half of the total workforce.

A Government spokesperson said:

No woman should be held back just because of her gender. We now have the lowest gender pay gap on record and that’s supported by our changes to flexible working, shared parental leave, our work to get more women into the top jobs at our biggest companies and our drive to get more girls taking STEM subjects at school.


But we know there’s more to do. That’s why we are requiring employers to publish their gender pay and gender bonus gap for the first time from April. Shining a light on where the gaps are means employers can take action to tackle it in their organisation.


IPPR report

On Monday, 27 March, the Guardian reported on an Institute for Public Policy Research report into the apprenticeship levy that suggests London and the south east will benefit most from the levy. The report states that unless the government changes its policy to ensure the investment from the levy is distributed more fairly between north and south, it will exacerbate existing regional disparities for young people.

To ensure regions across the country are engaging with apprenticeships and taking advantage of the opportunities of the reforms, every Local Enterprise Partnership has been given £5,000 to work on employer readiness for the levy and to support campaigns to raise the profile of apprenticeships.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon said:

I have been clear that everyone should benefit from our reforms to apprenticeships and there is no evidence of a north south divide. We currently have the highest number of apprentices on record, with 900,000 last year and with numbers consistently high across the whole country.


We truly are investing in the whole of England by doubling funding for apprenticeships to £2.5 billion by 2019-20 – twice what was spent in 2010-11 – and giving employers more power than ever before to design training that meets their needs. Our reforms to apprenticeships will boost our country’s economic productivity, give everyone the chance to climb the ladder of opportunity and increase our home grown skills base.

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