The Future of Apprenticeships in England: next steps from the Richard Review

First published on Fri, March 15, 2013.

The government have this week issued their response to the Richard Review of Apprenticeships, launching a formal consultation alongside.

The Richard Review was commissioned by BIS and led by social entrepreneur Doug Richard. It sets out to ask what the apprenticeship system should look like in the future in order to meet the needs of the changing economy.

In the response, the government indicated that:

• Apprenticeships should be designed for and targeted at people starting a new job role or occupation. Separate training should be made available for those already established in their job role.

• An Apprenticeship should last at least a year and should provide sufficient time away from the workplace for off-site training and workshops.

• The government will introduce a new ‘pre-apprenticeship’ Trainee scheme to help prepare young people for apprenticeships.

• Employers should take the lead role in designing Apprenticeship standards and qualifications, with support from external bodies where necessary. According to the response: “to achieve this will require a major overhaul in the structure of current Apprenticeships, the qualifications which comprise them and the occupational standards which underpin them”.

• Apprenticeship frameworks should clearly stipulate the knowledge and skills an apprentice needs to excel in their role; not a list of qualifications for an Apprentice to work through.

• The government would consider setting contests to select the standards for each occupation, inviting individual employers, employer partnerships and/or other professional organisations to compete to develop these.

• The government’s approach to funding centres on the idea that the employer is the customer, and should therefore be able to purchase training directly from training providers.

The consultation will run until May 22.

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