Business community firmly backs blueprint for next stage of apprenticeship reform

The Government must give the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) the independence and clout it needs to reform and regulate the English skills system. That’s according to the first of a 2019 series of CBI-authored apprenticeship reports entitled ‘Getting Apprenticeships Right: Next Steps’.

The Government has already undertaken significant steps to evolve the apprenticeship system and is listening to businesses’ calls for continued reform in this area. A second wave of Government action is now needed to ensure that apprenticeships lead to high-skilled, high-paid jobs that fit firms’ needs now and into the future.

The key report recommendations include:

*Government making clear that the IfA is the principal body for vocational skills in England with the clout to hold policymakers and the skills sector to account

*The IfA must take further steps to speed up the apprenticeship standards approval process so that businesses can start using them

*With employer levy funds due to start expiring from April, the Government must urgently set up an appeals system that gives employers longer to spend their money where apprenticeship standards remain in development

*With the IfA assuming responsibility for T-Levels and higher T-Levels, it should set out a clear vision of how they will fit into the skills system, subsequently giving employers and the public greater confidence in them.

John Cope, the CBI’s head of education and skills policy, said: “This business-backed blueprint needs to be taken seriously to make sure the English skills system supports, rather than frustrates, employers offering a first step to people in their career. This must include giving the Institute for Apprenticeships the independence and clout it needs to create a world-class skills system in England. The Government should be given credit for its commitment to skills reform to date. What’s clear is that both the Government and businesses understand the need for high-quality apprenticeships in every sector in order that our economy is able to flourish.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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