Apprenticeships already provide benefits to both employers and apprentices alike. However, the Richard Review of 2012 found there were key areas which could be improved to make the system more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers.
Government plans for implementing reforms are set out in The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Implementation Plan1, October 2013.
The key measures aim to:
- Increase the quality of apprenticeships. An apprentice will need to demonstrate competence through rigorous assessment.
- Put employers in the driving seat. In future, apprenticeships will be based on standards designed by employers.
- Simplify the system. The new employer-designed standards will be short and easy to understand.
- Give employers purchasing power. Routing government funding for the external training via employers.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills hopes all apprenticeships starting in the 2017/18 Academic Year to be on new standards. This is a challenging target and the funding mechanism for employers remains unclear, however, the Government’s has pledged to commit £2 for every £1 the employer invests, although there will be caps on this depending on the nature of the apprenticeship.
Documents relating to the new apprenticeship model and the trailblazer companies who have been involved in the development may be found at: