Closer to home, Lewis Cooper, Director of the Four Nations College Alliance, drew attention to some apprenticeship trends across the UK’s nations. Despite differences, there was clear support for a more integrated approach to post-16 education and skills, the promotion of lifelong learning and improved employer engagement.
The breakout sessions in this workshop focused on identifying the areas that need further interrogation. For instance, is England’s employer-led standards system a prime example of employer leadership? Or does it place too much power in employer hands? More fundamentally, who are apprenticeships for? Young people breaking into the labour market, or older members of the workforce? How might we design a system that satisfies both? The session established an intriguing agenda for our third and final workshop.