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CVER Research Paper

Devolving Skills: The case of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers


One rationale for devolution is that local decision makers may be well placed to adapt national skills’ policies to the local context. We test whether such adaptation helps meet programme objectives in the case of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers. Originally a national programme, aimed at incentivising employers to take on apprentices, reforms a few years in to operation gave some Local Authorities negotiated flexibilities in how the scheme operated. We use a difference-in-differences approach to test whether this led to an increase in the number of apprenticeship starts in devolved areas relative to control groups. We find that the policy had zero effect. There is suggestive evidence that this is because flexibilities were negotiated on the wrong margins


Chiara Cavaglia, Sandra McNally and Henry Overman

6 March 2019     Paper Number CVERDP018

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