While apprenticeships are already central to raising our nation’s skills and delivering strong returns for the economy, the Government wants to ensure that apprenticeships become more rigorous and responsive in the needs of more employers, writes Jane Vincent, chief executive, W S Training Ltd.
The goal is for it to become the norm for young people to go into an apprenticeship or to university or – in the case of some higher apprenticeships – do both.
What the Government proposes is a major programme of reform, which is why it is looking for a number of employers who will run Trailblazers, from which the employer and those coming after them will learn. In future, apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers to meet their needs, the needs of the sector and the economy more widely. These standards, which will replace the current frameworks, will be short, easy to understand documents that describe the level of skill, knowledge and competence required to achieve mastery of a specific occupation and to operate confidently within the sector.
The Governments says that if we are to have truly employer-focused apprenticeships, employers need to step forward and take ownership. Leading employers and professional bodies in eight sectors have already signed up to the new Trailblazers projects and the first version, Guidance for Employers, has now been published.
The Trailblazers will provide clear examples of effective practice and approaches which others can build on as we move towards full implementation of the reforms during 2015/16. Any employer wishing to become involved in the next phase should refer to www.gov.uk/government/consultations/future-of-apprentceships-in-england-richard-review-next-steps