On 9th April 2014 the Bishop of St Albans received an answer to a written question on apprenticeships:
Question Asked by The Lord Bishop of St Albans:
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they have taken to link apprenticeships to professional registration in order to establish recognised industry standards for apprenticeship and traineeship schemes. [HL6576]
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): We are reforming Apprenticeships by putting employers in the driving seat of designing new Apprenticeship standards. These will include skills and any specific requirements for professional registration, so that on completion a successful apprentice can achieve professional registration where appropriate.
Traineeships are a flexible programme aimed at providing young people with skills and experience they need to be able to compete for Apprenticeships and other sustainable jobs. At the core of Traineeships are work preparation training, English and maths and a work experience placement with an employer. Links to professional registration are not a requirement for Traineeships, but providers have the flexibility to add additional content which could include sector-specific training or qualifications where these are publicly funded.
Baroness Stedman-Scott asked Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to equip young people with the skills necessary to enter the job market.
The Bishop of St Albans asked a supplementary question:
The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, there are four times as many 18 to 24 year-olds looking for work at the moment as there are in the 16 to 17 age group. Yet the Government’s policy on apprenticeships for 19 to 24 year-olds is to ask employers to pay half the costs of the learning framework. Many businesses, especially SMEs, will pause before taking on an apprentice because of this. Does the Minister agree that if this requirement were to be removed, it would hugely encourage many more young people to get into apprenticeships as well as giving them much more of a chance to succeed?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate makes an important point, but I am sure many noble Lords are aware that the Government do support local businesses. Indeed, they have made additional funding available to small businesses that are looking to take on both trainees and apprentices.
On the age group that the right reverend Prelate mentioned, particularly 19 to 24 year-olds, in October 2013 the Government announced funding of an additional £20 million to support the expansion of traineeships, which are helping even more young people to get the skills and experience they need to get into full-time work.
On 28th November 2013, the Bishop of Derby took part in Baroness Wilcox’ debate on what action the Government are taking to increase the take-up of apprenticeships among young people. In his speech, he spoke of the need for education to assist in the development of good citizens and a high-calibre workforce based on vocation. He also raised the importance of employees being bale to train the right people for the right roles and the need to ensure that all young people have access to employment.
The Lord Bishop of Derby: My Lords, I, too, congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Wilcox, on securing this debate on this very important theme. The Richards review and the statement by the Minister of State for Skills and Enterprise make clear that there are three areas that we need to look at and hold together.
The first is the big context about the importance of using education and training, of which apprenticeship is part, to make good citizens and a proper workforce for the 21st century. That is the theme of vocation: developing people to have a sustainable working life. The second area is the need for employers to be able to train and recruit the kind of people they need for their particular industry. The third area is the fact that there are a large number of young people who lack the opportunity to engage with the world of work. Those three themes frame this debate. Continue reading “Bishop of Derby takes part in debate on apprenticeships”