The future of apprenticeships in England: next steps from the Richard Review

Fri Mar 22 13:00:00 UTC 2013

The government has released a consultation on the future of apprenticeships in England to shape the next steps set out in the Richard Review.  

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The Department for Education, along with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has released the consultation in response to the independent Richard Review of Apprenticeships.

The purpose is to establish a potential redefinition of apprenticeships, refocusing on employer-led outcomes. The two departments invite views on what they believe will be:

  • a 'clearer' approach to qualifications and standards
  • a more 'trusted' approach to assessment
  • a commitment to ensuring that all apprentices achieve Level 2 maths and English.

A few points are not yet clear, including more general points such as how we move from the current system of SSC-owned apprenticeship frameworks to one where employers design apprenticeship standards and qualifications, and more practical questions such as how many qualifications should be included in each standard.

While the next steps will represent a major change for funding if all the recommendations are accepted, funding remains relatively absent from the questions. A current 'Employer Ownership Pilot' is in place to review options for giving employers more 'purchasing power' to test a system where pricing is freed from government control, encourage employers to become involved and consider the use of Local Enterprise Partnerships to support employers within this prospective system.

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