Under the reforms the new apprenticeships will last for a minimum of one year with the training and development plans designed by employers themselves to ensure they meet specific industry needs. The beefed up programmes mean apprentices will face more independent academic assessments to ensure good levels of English and maths, while their progress will be graded to make achievements measurable against full time education. Individuals will also receive a minimum of 20 per cent “off-the-job training”, which refers to time away from their workstation to focus on training.
Employers already signed up to offer the scheme include Microsoft, Tesco, National Grid and Barclays Bank.
“The reforms we’re announcing today will put employers in the driving seat and ensure that we deliver high quality training that supports young people and our economy for years to come,” the Prime Minister said. “And as the range of companies signed up today shows, these are apprenticeships in different industries and sectors meaning people have a real choice about the career they want and our economy is balanced.
“We’re saying [to young people] if you need help preparing for an apprenticeship or want to get straight into the world of work, we’ll help you. We’ve been talking to some of the biggest companies in Britain, massive global brands where young people have a real opportunity to progress up the ladder, and they have said they want to offer 100,000 vocational training schemes for young people.”
The government aim is that all new apprentices will be on the new standards from 2017 to 2018. Katerina Rüdiger, CIPD head of skills and policy campaigns, said: “Research conducted as part of the CIPD Learning to Work programme, found that some employers held concerns about whether the apprenticeships on offer were sufficiently tailored to their requirements and sectors. These concerns may have been preventing some from offering apprenticeships, restricting an important career access route for young people.
“The CIPD welcomes the government plans to put employers in the driving seat to set standards. We look forward to seeing the 60 trailblazer organisations already involved in the creation of new style apprenticeships make them a success. These announcements can only mean positive things as far as the future of apprenticeships is concerned, and this should be seen as a step towards making them as equally an attractive prospect to young people and their parents as a university education has traditionally been.”
The changes to apprenticeships are a result of the Richard Review, which recommended an increased emphasis on academic rigour to ensure apprenticeships would rival higher and further education.
The CIPD has a best practice guide for employers Apprenticeships that Work which will be updated line with the latest announcements.