Skills Minister reinforces importance of apprenticeship reforms

Speaking at the annual Association of Education Learning Providers conference on 2nd June, Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock discussed the importance of apprenticeship reforms and how giving employers control of the design and funding of apprenticeships will help to drive up quality.

Matthew Hancock said: “For the first time, a new generation of young people are seeing apprenticeships as the route to a brighter future. Now is the time to reform the apprenticeship system in order to put it at the forefront of economic growth for years to come. Alongside universities, apprenticeships are the new norm for young people leaving school.

“I also want apprenticeships to become the first choice for businesses and employers of all sizes. By driving up the rigour and responsiveness, we can prove their worth to these groups and encourage even more employers to take on an apprentice.

“Apprenticeships will deliver higher quality across the board, skills relevant to the future and give everyone in the country the opportunity to realise their potential. I am calling for businesses to come alongside us and we can go forward together. The road ahead will not be easy, but for that goal, it is surely worth travelling.

The minister built on recent support for the principles of the funding reforms and set out how the system will be trialled with the Trailblazer employers in 2014 to 2015. They are now going to trial the new apprenticeship funding system which means that for every £1 the business invests in apprenticeships, they will receive £2 of government funding up to a maximum amount, depending on the apprenticeship.

The minister also welcomed an employer toolkit which NIACE (National Institute of Adult Continuing Education) has designed to help more disabled people gain access to apprenticeships.