The British Cleaning Council has welcomed an independent review of apprenticeships, which was published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills at the end of November.
The author, Doug Richard - the entrepreneur, educator and founder of School for Startups who appeared in the first two series of the BBC series 'Dragon's Den' - was asked to consider the future of apprenticeships in England and suggest ways that they can evolve to meet the changing needs of employers and the wider economy.
His key recommendations include:
• Redefining apprenticeships - they should be targeted only at those who are new to a job or role that requires sustained and substantial training.
• Focusing on the outcome of an apprenticeship - what the apprentice can do when they complete their training, and freeing up the process by which they get there.
• Recognised industry standards should form the basis of every apprenticeship.
• All apprentices should reach a good level in English and maths before they can complete their apprenticeship.
• Government funding must create the right incentives for apprenticeships training - the purchasing power for investing in this should lie with the employer.
• Far greater diversity and innovation in training should be encouraged - with employers and government taking a more active role in safeguarding quality.
Commenting on the launch of his review, Doug Richard said: “Apprenticeships need to be high quality training with serious kudos and tangible value both to the apprentice and the employer. I want to hear about an 18 year-old who looked at their options and turned down a place at Oxbridge to take up an apprenticeship if that is the right path for them. We need to make sure that apprenticeships are the success story they deserve to be.”
The report can be downloaded at www.bis.gov.uk and the BCC welcomes its recommendations. The topic of apprenticeships was the theme of one of the keynote speeches at the BCC Conference in October, which was delivered by Daniel Francies from the National Apprenticeship Service.
Andrew Large, secretary general of the BCC, said: “The issue of training and apprenticeships is of vital importance to the cleaning industry, which continues to make great strides in supporting its workers and encouraging them to develop and grow in their chosen roles. All of our members have considerable expertise and knowledge in education and training for their particular cleaning specialisms, and they pool their resources through the BCC to improve the cleaning industry as a whole. We will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that training and apprenticeships for the cleaning sector are top of the agenda, in order to further increase the professionalism of the industry.”