City & Guilds responds to government’s implementation plan for the future of apprenticeships

Published:  29 October, 2013

Chris Jones, chief executive officer and director-general at City & Guilds, has responded to government's reform to apprenticeships.

“With today's [28 October] announcements, it's great to see government putting apprenticeships into the hands of employers. Building that link between education and employment is critical to sustainable economic growth,” said Mr Jones.

“City & Guilds believes deeply in employer engagement in education, however it is concerning to see the lack of reference to colleges, training providers and awarding organisations in the implementation plan. As we've found through our research into vocational pedagogy, educators play a critical role in helping individuals develop both technical and transferable skills.

“We can't let the balance tip too far in the other direction. Educators working hand-in-hand with employers to develop the new apprenticeship frameworks will be critical to their success. Educators must be involved in the ‘trailblazer’ pilots as well as employers; we urge government to consider this as a requirement for the pilots, instead of as an optional extra, as this will create truly rigorous and responsive apprenticeships.

“We welcome that government has selected industries for the trailblazers, which currently have lower take-up of apprenticeships, as it will enable innovation without destabilising the whole system.

“It is also encouraging to see mention of learning technology as a key enabler to apprenticeships and we hope to see this theme expanded as the trailblazers develop. Using technology in the right way will be transformative to the quality and accessibility of apprenticeships.'

“Although we welcome the idea of simplicity, the question that remains is how one page of paper will be translated into something that can actually be taught and assessed in a consistent and meaningful way by the hundreds of thousands of organisations involved in the system. As experts in assessment, quality assurance and learning technology, City & Guilds is looking forward to working with government and the trailblazer pilot groups, which include many of our employer customers, to ensure these reforms are successful in driving economic growth in an efficient and sustainable way.”

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