The Federation of Small Businesses has welcomed the Government’s response to the Richard review of apprenticeships, but still says that functional skills must be taught well enough in schools so that apprenticeships are not seen as ‘catch-up courses’.
The FSB has called for a clear definition of an apprenticeship and for businesses to have a hand in developing the content of apprenticeships, so it is good news that the Government has committed to look at this following the Richard Review.
An apprenticeship should not simply be in-work training, but a quality way to start a meaningful career, embedding skills, and delivering clear benefits for the business and well as the apprentice.
With constant change to the apprenticeship brand in the past 30 years, the FSB would urge the Government to take its time with these reforms to ensure that puts in place a stable system that lasts for the long term.
It is imperative that apprenticeships are clearly defined so that all involved know who it is for and what it will deliver once and for all. However, we believe that alongside these reforms that all entrants to apprenticeships should have functional skills before they start.
This would improve the brand further and mean employers are less likely to view them as a catch-up course for skills that should have been taught in schools. We look forward to working with the Government to take these recommendations forward and ensuring that they work for small and micro businesses.