AELP welcomes Labour proposals on FE and skills

Written on 19 August 2014 in News
News

Segal wants the party to work with the FE and skills sector to drive quality improvements rather than make significant changes that may not help those most in need of support

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has welcomed the latest FE and skills proposals from Labour shadow education secretary Tristram Hunt.

Speaking at a Microsoft conference in London yesterday, Hunt outlined plans to improve the quality of apprenticeships.

Stewart Segal, AELP chief executive, said he hopes that the Labour party will focus on the real quality issues rather than as the shadow minister says in his speech to make major changes to structures, funding and eligibility. Segal wants the party to work with the FE and skills sector to drive quality improvements rather than make significant changes that may not help those most in need of support.

“We agree that we need to ensure that vocational pathways are high quality.  We also agree with him that there is always scope for improvement in the quality of apprenticeships although employer and learner surveys consistently report high satisfaction ratings with the programme. However, removing the level 2 programmes will reduce the opportunities for many young people,” Segal said.

“Every young person should have a progression route available to a level 3 job but not everyone will have that opportunity from day one. Even the best apprenticeships start with developing skills at level 2 and we should not penalise those people who do not progress immediately to level 3 jobs. 

“On Mr Hunt’s proposal that apprenticeship programmes should last a minimum of two years, we have always believed that duration does not in itself lead to good quality delivery. As more young people take an apprenticeship when they already have good academic qualifications, predetermining the duration of programmes is not what governments should be doing. 

“Recommended durations are useful but there are always examples where a shorter duration would be appropriate; for example where a good candidate has been able to progress quickly and could progress to an Apprenticeship at a higher level.  We believe that we should allow employers the maximum flexibility in the delivery of the programmes within a structured quality framework.  

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