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Jenny Hewell

Welcoming Ambitions for High Quality Apprenticeships in BIS Report

Tuesday, 06 November 2012
By: Jenny Hewell - Chief Executive

We welcome ambitions for a greater focus on high quality apprenticeships that serve employers and apprentices, in a Committee report published today.

The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Committee calls for reform to the government's apprenticeships programme, and recommends a focus on quality rather than take-up rates.

The report follows an 11 month inquiry and urges the Government to be more ambitious with apprenticeships in order to boost the economy, and recommends that funding should not just encourage take-up for young people.

We support the BIS Committee’s recommendation for a greater focus on high quality apprenticeships. As the leading business skills council, our industry-led apprentices have enabled employers and apprentices to develop high quality skills in business. We have always believed that nationally recognised high quality skills are vital to boosting the economy by providing aspiring and current professionals with the opportunity to earn-while-they learn, develop skills and keep their employers competitive.

It is vital that the needs of employers are met.  Apprenticeships should address demands for skills and be developed in partnership with employers.

As the issuing authority for all business apprenticeships, our business apprenticeships offer learning opportunities for young people entering the workforce, as well as those wanting further development at work. 

"The Government has, quite rightly, made apprenticeships a priority and has devoted significant resources to help them thrive. But money does not guarantee success. The apprenticeship programme needs clarity, oversight and, in these straightened times, to demonstrate that it is providing value for money,” said BIS Committee Chairman, Adrian Bailey MP. “The apprenticeship programme can play a key role in resolving some of this county’s most pressing issues. It can help us to create a more skilled workforce, to increase employment and to generate sustainable economic growth.”

He said that the wide-ranging, evidence-based report details the areas where the current model could better serve apprentices, their employers, or, in many cases, both.

The report said that young people in this country should be given every chance to fulfil their potential in school, in work and in life.

“Quality, not quantity should be the over-riding measure of success for apprenticeships,” it reads. “An increase in numbers will always be welcome. A guarantee of quality will always be vital."

We will be discussing how to drive quality and excellence in business apprenticeships at our National Conference on 29 November in Birmingham.

More news on the BIS Committee report can be found here.


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