The Commission of Inquiry into the role of Group Training Associations (GTAs)

First published on Thu, September 20, 2012.

The Commission of Inquiry into the role of Group Training Associations (GTAs), hosted by the Institute of Education, published its final report last week. The report makes a positive assessment of the role of Group Training Associations in supporting employers in both the creative and other sectors to take on apprentices, citing evidence from Creative & Cultural Skills.

Creative & Cultural Skills share the view that GTAs should form a central part of the Government’s economic growth framework. We also support the recommendation that GTAs are established or developed in sectors and regions where they have not traditionally been prominent.

Group Training Associations were first introduced over fifty years ago, and have traditionally predominated in the Midlands and the north of England. The GTAs are employer-driven and play an important role in the provision of apprenticeships, enabling groups of employers to share the responsibility for training the apprentices as well providing their on-the-job experience. In more traditional model, an FE college would lead the training, working in partnership with an employer or group of employers. We believe that colleges continue to play an important role in GTAs, supporting employers and providing a vital quality assurance mechanism.

Although GTAs have historically served the needs of traditional areas of the economy such as manufacturing, the model is one which we believe can be applied readily to the creative and cultural sectors.

In June this year, we announced the extension of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural to support the design, cultural heritage and jewellery sectors. GTAs will play a key strategic role in supporting this extension work, facilitating the uptake of higher level and technical apprentices within these sectors.

The Report of the Commission of Inquiry in to the role of Group Training Associations can be viewed online.

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