Princess Royal, the British Army and NIACE showcase apprenticeship quality

NIACE is working with the Army to showcase their important work to deliver outstanding apprenticeships – a blueprint for other large employers and Government to follow. 

The Army’s Professional Cookery Apprenticeship programme, considered a model of good practice and endorsed as outstanding by Ofsted, was showcased by NIACE at an event on Thursday, 23rd of October, and attended by its Patron, HRH The Princess Royal.

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NIACE has worked closely with the Army since 2000, advising on the development of Army Literacy & Numeracy Policy, a remit which has now broadened to include Information & Communications Technology skills and Apprenticeships. The organisation is currently undertaking a comprehensive study of the impact and benefits to the Army of its extensive apprenticeship programme, which is one of the largest in the country with up to 18,000 apprentices on over 40 separate programmes at any one time. 

The Army’s Head of Education and Career Development, Brigadier Suzanne Anderson, said:  “The Army’s Apprenticeship Programme is an integral part of our approach to the professional and personal development of our soldiers and is a central feature of the Army Skills Offer – an extensive suite of qualification opportunities that the Service continues to develop.

“Investing in our people not only means making sure they have access to high quality work-based training to prepare them for their immediate roles, but that all that training and experience gained during an Army career is accredited and nationally recognised. This is a win-win situation for the Army and our soldiers. Our current work with NIACE in reviewing the value and impact of our Apprenticeship Programme is an important benchmarking study to help in our on-going drive for further quality improvements.”

The training scheme delivers high achievement rates well above the national average with around 7,500 completions in 2014-15. The NIACE study will be critical in establishing the return on this substantial investment in recommending ways to improve delivery practice and helping Government meet its target of three million apprenticeships by 2020.

David Hughes, NIACE’s Chief Executive, applauds the Army’s approach to Apprenticeships, and added: “As one of the UK’s largest employers of Apprenticeships, the Army truly sets the standard that other large employers and Government need to follow if we are going to maximise the opportunity of Apprenticeships. We are delighted that our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal, is joining us to celebrate and share the learning from this outstanding programme.”


Debbie Carter

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