Authors: Olly Newton, Chris Percy, Andrea Laczik and Kat Emms, with Kayla Cohen, Arne Malz, Nicolas Gort Freitas, Carmen Nicoara and Daria Luchinskaya
While apprenticeships have been considered the jewel in the crown of technical education in the UK, there is concern that government’s over focus quantity and its three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 target has come at the expense of quality. This report explores the new apprenticeship standards, opportunities to refocus apprenticeships for those aged 16-24, improving quality within the system and the promotion of apprenticeships as an equal route to success on a par with academic training.
It is clear that apprenticeships have a key role to play in delivering high quality technical education in England. To do so, we must:
- Refocus the apprenticeship programme principally on those aged 16-24 with schools better promoting apprenticeships as an equal route to success. Alongside this, degree apprenticeships should be significantly expanded.
- Rebalance the programme towards small businesses so that regions can more appropriately tailor the programme to meet local needs
- Ensure that quality is a prime driver. This requires moving away from stringent targets towards high quality measurements of success.
- Broaden apprenticeship training to include transferable and real life meta-skills that employers are looking for