SummitSkills: Richard Review 'a useful reminder of real apprenticeships'
The Richard Review has been welcomed as a useful reminder of what makes a real apprenticeship by SummitSkills, the sector skills council for building services engineering.
Responding to Doug Richard's recently published recommendations, chief executive of SummitSkills Keith Marshall OBE said: "We have long argued for a tightening up of the definition of 'apprenticeship' to describe a person learning a new job and not just an existing worker upgrading their skills.
"We are pleased to see that the review appears to have responded to this and other points we made in our submission. We look forward to seeing the Government's Skills Strategy for the whole of the UK, due to be issued in February 2013, and to working with the Government to identify the best ways to ensure that both apprenticeships and traineeships deliver the best possible outcomes for employees and for their employers.
"While it is good to have a fresh look at the subject of apprenticeships, we feel it is important that we learn from existing good practice and resist the temptation to make change for change's sake. Doug Richard is right to highlight that apprenticeships should focus on the needs of both the employer and learner, and should not be driven by training providers. This requires engagement with employers and in a sector dominated by small and micro businesses, SummitSkills is well placed to support that approach."
SummitSkills also agrees with the Richard Review about the need to secure high quality learning for an apprenticeship to be most valuable to all involved parties. How to achieve this has also been the focus of two other important documents in 2012 focusing on the future of apprenticeships - the Holt Review in May and the BIS Select Committee's report in early November.
Together the three documents suggest various changes to make apprenticeships more useful, relevant and fit for the needs of the future workforce. The Government's skills strategy in February will consider these documents, as well as taking into account the findings of the Heseltine Review and the Industrial Strategy launched recently by Business Secretary Vince Cable.
"With its established relationships with the key employer and other stakeholder organisations in the building services engineering sector, SummitSkills is in an excellent position to work through the options. We must work together to find the way through this potential maze and create apprenticeships fit for the future," Marshall concluded.