The consultation document sets out a major potential programme of reforms to Apprenticeships. In principle, there is much support within the proposals. The IoD particularly welcomes:
- The promised emphasis on quality and rigour;
- The recognition of the centrality of the relationship between employer and apprentice;
- Ensuring employers are treated as customers at the heart of the system;
- The focus on 'real jobs';
- The focus on Level 3 Apprenticeships as opposed to Level 2;
- The proposal to replace Apprenticeships frameworks with qualifications
- The emphasis on English and maths, ensuring that completion is dependent on Level 2 achievement in these subjects and;
- The recognition of the importance of off-the-job learning (making it a mandatory component of all Apprenticeships).
Overall, therefore, the consultation presents a generally positive prospectus for reform. Indeed, some of the key proposals (including the emphases on quality and rigour, on Level 3 rather than Level 2, on a base level of achievement in English and maths and on the importance of off-the-job learning) echo recommendations the IoD itself made almost a decade ago.
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