Focus on quality of apprenticeships for UK prosperity, new report urges

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Written on 19 February 2015 in News
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The report is launched in the run up to a general election where both Labour and Conservatives have promised a huge increase in the number of apprenticeships

A new report ‘Remaking Apprenticeships' which launches today urges government, industry and the FE sector to put a strong focus on the quality of apprenticeships to secure a bright future for the UK economy.

The report is launched in the run up to a general election where both Labour and Conservatives have promised a huge increase in the number of apprenticeships. It proposes a series of practical tools to enable government and the vocational educational sector to work together to rebuild apprenticeships to ensure they become a top choice for both learners and employers in the future, equal to other learning routes in a status.

The report was commissioned by the City & Guilds Alliance and written by two of the UK’s leading authorities in apprenticeships Bill Lucas and Ellen Spencer from the Centre for Real-World Learning at the University of Winchester.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, UK managing director at City & Guilds, said: “We all know that the future of the UK economy rests on our ability to meet the skills needs of industry, but this doesn’t mean our approach to apprenticeships should be a numbers game. We must first and foremost ensure the quality is high. The City & Guilds Alliance commissioned this research to take a hard look at what makes a good quality apprenticeship, namely the teaching and assessment.”

“We firmly believe now is the time to remake apprenticeships and that, if we take the right approach and embed learning and assessment at the heart of an apprenticeship, as well as ensure they are designed to meet employers’ needs, we can ensure the UK’s apprenticeship system can compete with the very best on the world stage.”

Andy Smyth, vocational learning development manager, TUI Group, said: “At TUI we welcome this piece of research which puts the spotlight firmly on embedding quality into the apprenticeship system. Apprenticeships should have an eye on the learner’s future career giving an understanding of the world of business and the vital soft skills needed to flourish inside and outside of work.

“To ensure the apprenticeship system works for all there is a real need for stability now with a focus on learning, process and content and a genuine understanding of the needs of employers. Following the recommendations in Remaking Apprenticeships should get us some way towards achieving that.”

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