The Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) was first brought together by EAL almost a year ago and its reputation continues to grow. Even before I started in my role as EAL Managing Director, in September, I had already heard about the pioneering IAC and the ground-breaking work it was doing to get the apprentice voice heard in parliament and around the country.
First of all, I want to say huge congratulations to Sadie Hawkins (pictured below), the much deserved winner of the EAL Advanced Apprentice of the Year 2013 award at the National Apprenticeship Awards. Sadie was the stand out winner among a list of very impressive young candidates. It is testament to her hard work and dedication that she has been acknowledged in this way.
I read with interest the Review of Adult Vocational Qualifications in England, which was led by Nigel Whitehead, UKCES Commissioner and Group Managing Director at BAE Systems. Awarding Organisations are a cornerstone to a lot of his recommendations, as he outlines how they can improve their service, by working closely with employers, as well as being held accountable for providing qualifications that deliver relevant, reliable skills for the marketplace.
The voice of industry apprentices just got a lot louder. The Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) survey of the wider apprentice community saw nearly 600 apprentices add their voice to the national debate – and I for one have been intrigued to take a close look at the results. Responses have proved insightful, worrying, uplifting and sometimes expected – such as the 98.5% satisfaction rating among apprentices.
The UKCES employer skills survey is the largest of its kind in the world – a poll of 90,000 UK employers. As the UKCES Chief Executive Michael Davis said at the recent launch of the 2013 results, “no other survey gets the degree of conversations of what is going on in the UK labour market.” And so I read the findings with interest when they were published on Thursday, January 30th.
It was great to be part of this year’s prestigious EEF Future Manufacturing Awards. EAL sponsored both the Final Year Apprentice Award and First Year Apprentice Award – and it was fascinating and inspiring to learn about the amazing things the nominees and finalists had achieved.
Hundreds of employers, educators and learners gathered in London to celebrate excellence at the glittering Semta Skills Awards last week. It was a brilliant evening, with a great deal of immense talent and inspiring stories around the room. It was great to see so many employers in attendance, showing the engineering and manufacturing sector’s commitment to skills.