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Press Release

Press Releases

Government must act upon BIS report and support expansion of apprenticeships, says UK training provider

Pera Training press release

Pera Training, one of the UK's largest providers of apprenticeships in the manufacturing and professional sectors, has come out strongly in favour of the recommendations listed in a new report by the House of Commons Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS).

The report, titled "Apprenticeships", calls for apprenticeships to be seen as equal to study at university, a goal that Pera Training's Managing Director Richard Grice says is achievable if the Government works to implement the BIS report's key recommendations.

The report states that creating a system for measuring progress in apprenticeship programmes is sorely needed, and can only be achieved if an overarching strategy and a 'clear purpose' is agreed upon. Commenting on the report, Mr Grice says:

"It is vital that the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills settle on a formal definition of 'apprenticeship'. Moreover, employers and prospective employees must recognise that apprenticeships are for developing skills, not simply validating existing skills. This distinction is an important one.

"The report acknowledges that without clarity, there is only confusion. What is the Government trying to achieve? What should apprentices focus on? What should employers be offered? All of these questions must be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"With a £1.2billion investment into apprenticeships by the Government last year, and 457,200 people starting training as an apprentice, this is a golden age for work-based training. It is vital that the current momentum is maintained."

Assessment of how schemes are funded and how they are taken up, especially with regard to which age groups benefit most, was recommended by the report. This would also help to combat the common misconception that apprenticeships are only for young people.

The findings noted that awareness of apprenticeships within schools could be significantly improved. Giving the National Apprenticeship Service responsibility to promote apprenticeships to students within schools would be a desirable move, according to the authors of the report.
The MPs who contributed to the report did caution that "quality, not quantity should be the over-riding measure of success for apprenticeships", a sentiment shared by Mr Grice at Pera Training, who added:

"At Pera we unwaveringly understand that hard numbers must not take precedence over the importance of quality training, and we are encouraged that the BIS report echoes these values."

In 2011 alone Pera trained more than 5,500 learners in 350 clients companies, and their client list includes global companies such as Jaguar-Land Rover and Coca Cola.

The BIS report was eleven months in the making and involved working with people directly involved in apprenticeship schemes. Support for apprenticeships is cross-party, and is being heralded by the Government as central to the economic recovery of the nation.

Apprenticeships have the backing of newly promoted Skills Minister, Matthew Hancock MP, who on publication of the report said:

The Chairman of the BIS Committee, Adrian Bailey, commented that apprenticeships can play a key role in resolving some of the UK's most pressing issues. By investing in a more skilled workforce, Mr Bailey said, employment will increase and sustainable economic growth will follow.

Mr Grice concluded: "Our young people deserve investment. I applaud the Government's continued commitment to work-based training, but urge them not to be complacent. In a global economy the UK cannot afford to slip behind. Implementing the recommendations of the BIS report would send a  hugely positive signal to British workers and British businesses."

The Chairman of the BIS Committee, Adrian Bailey, commented that apprenticeships can play a key role in resolving some of the UK's most pressing issues. By investing in a more skilled workforce, Mr Bailey said, employment will increase and sustainable economic growth will follow.

 



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