Saturday, 17 May 2014

Apprenticeships are the key to changing the jobs market and here is why

Since 2010 the number of Apprentices has doubled and become a new norm for school leavers. However, I know that locally when I talk to small businesses who haven’t yet taken the plunge and hired an apprentice their main worry is whether they’ll be buried in paperwork. The good news is that under this Government employing an apprentice is now simpler than ever. Not only that but we have also put employers in the driving seat of designing new apprenticeships so that in future they will work even better for both employers and apprentices. If you want to read more detail about the effectiveness of these reforms, the Minister’s latest speech on apprenticeships, may be helpful:

A few highlights though are that so far:
·         1.7 million apprenticeships have been delivered, and we are on track for 2 million over the course of this Parliament.
·         There has been an increase of 103,300 in the number of employers taking on apprentices since 2009/10 (representing an increase of 45.2%).
·         And, the number of high quality, full apprenticeships has doubled among young people aged between 16 and 18, from 53,600 in 2009/10 to 110,900 in 2012/13.

The next step in this process is reforming the funding of apprenticeships so that employers can take the lead on both standards and training. This will mean that colleges, training providers and universities will need to provide the training employers need to fulfil the standards they have set. It will also dramatically simplify the funding rules and processes.

But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here is what thirty-five leading trade organisations and businesses – large and small – wrote in a letter to the telegraph: