Apprentices must speak up to receive appropriate training, urges Semta

Apprentices are being urged to make their views known to ensure they and future generations receive the advice, training and career they deserve.

The Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) – which has been the leading voice for apprentices since 2013 – is launching its third annual  survey , designed to provide a picture of the apprentice community’s views on the key issues affecting vocational pathways.

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The survey, which is launched yesterday (14th January) and is running until Friday 19th February 2016 will cover a range of areas including the wider and changing perceptions of Apprenticeships, satisfaction with apprentices’ own career choices, and the advice and guidance they were given before becoming an apprentice.  

Ann Watson, chief executive of Semta, the not-for-profit organisation tasked with skilling engineering and manufacturing in the UK, said: “The IAC has the backing of some of the UK’s largest employers and consists of apprentices across the engineering and manufacturing sectors.

“It is firmly established as the leading voice of industry apprentices, taking input and feedback from the wider community and representing apprentices at the highest level, in Parliament.

“This work continues throughout the year, as the IAC members speak to their fellow apprentices and engage in events across the country.”

Results are due to be published in the spring and will be used to inform employers, educators, training providers and the Government as to their policies on apprentices.

Founded by EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry, the IAC is such an important voice on apprenticeships both now and in the future that Semta has added its expertise in skills, collaborating with EAL to ensure the voices of today’s apprentices have even more airtime given the significant Government focus on apprenticeships.

Watson added: “With the Governments ambitious 3 million Apprenticeship target we know policymakers agree that Apprenticeships carry equal weight to higher education but previous surveys have consistently shown the need to see that perception penetrate our schools and colleges, so that young people are given all the options and the best start to a career in whatever industry they choose.

“We would urge all companies employing apprentices to encourage the young people to complete this survey. We strongly believe apprentices themselves should have a say in the future of apprenticeships and the IAC is a great way to give them a voice.”

Last year more than 1,300 responses were received from industry apprentices. The results paint a picture of how apprentices themselves feel their career choices are portrayed nationwide as well as the support they gained from their school or college.

Julia Chippendale, managing director of EAL said: “The power of the apprentices’ voice is seen by the fact the survey is taken very seriously. It is presented to the relevant skills ministers, to MPs, stakeholders and policymakers. The first-hand experience of the young people both before, during and after embarking on apprenticeships produces compelling evidence which must be heard and acted upon.”

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