Adrian Bailey was speaking about the Government’s response to the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee’s (BISC) recommendations on its apprenticeships programme.
The BISC report said that standards needed to be improved and scheme needed to be better monitored to provide the skills that would boost economic growth.
Bailey welcomed the Government’s agreement with this, and added that he was pleased that the Government agrees that “quality is key … going forward”.
However, he noted concerns with in-kind payments to training providers and was “deeply disappointed” that the Government will not publish how many school leavers enter apprenticeships.
“Apprenticeships are a viable and attractive path to a successful career and this should be reflected in the culture of our schools,” said Bailey. “I am therefore deeply disappointed that the Government has declined to require schools to publish ‘apprenticeship entries’ as well as the number of university places their students achieve, and call on it to reconsider the Committee’s recommendation.”
“During our inquiry, we were shocked to hear evidence of the Government wasting money on training schemes that it could not ensure provided value for money. In these straitened times, this is simply unacceptable. We are therefore dismayed that the Government has declined to act on our recommendation that firms be required to quantify the value of their ‘in-kind’ payments.”
Bailey added: “We are pleased, however, that the Government has promised to consider whether it should use quality indicators when allocating money in the future. We recommended that they do so and repeat that recommendation now.
“High quality apprenticeships can provide the cornerstone of a thriving economy. We are pleased that the Government has recognised this in its response to our report. We encourage it to now take the necessary action to turn recognition into reality.”