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Abstract for:

Devolving Skills: The case of the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers

Chiara  Cavaglia,  Sandra  McNally,  Henry  Overman,  March 2019
Paper No' CVERDP018: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Apprenticeships, devolution, employment

JEL Classification: J24; J48; H73

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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