Call for ‘passionate’ apprentice-focused companies to join hospitality and retail groups

A call has been made for businesses “passionate about skills and apprenticeships” to nominate representatives to join the new Hospitality and Retail Apprenticeship Boards, recognised by government to ensure the industry’s apprenticeships stay fit for purpose.

Workforce development expert, People 1st, said the boards have a critical role to play in overseeing the external quality assurance of the independent assessment that takes place at the end of the apprenticeship. The body, which was nominated by employers to manage the external quality assurance process, will be accountable to the boards.

Each member of the board will play a significant part in helping to ensure that the new employer-driven hospitality and retail apprenticeship standards remain high quality and fit for purpose for all businesses across both industries.

Annette Allmark, director of strategic policy at People 1st, commented: “The hospitality and retail sectors are leading the way when it comes to taking ownership of apprenticeship quality. Joining the boards presents a huge opportunity to businesses and individuals that want an instrumental role in the future of hospitality and retail apprenticeships.

“The boards will be made up of a diverse range of industry representatives and in addition to those with learning and development backgrounds, we are hoping that people with expertise in operations, communication and finance will also join.”

External quality assurance will check the consistency of assessment material and the vocational competence of independent assessors, as well how internal quality processes and reporting are managed.

Lloyd Thomas, group apprenticeship manager at The Co-Op added: “External quality assurance is critical because it will pick up any inconsistencies in assessment and ensure a high level of quality is maintained and that apprentices are achieving the standard.”

A total of 15 positions will be available on each board and the closing date for applications is 7 October 2016.