Industry apprentices are being given a unique opportunity to add their voice to the national debate on vocational learning.

The first Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) has been launched for apprentices to have their say on national policy and strategy, take action of Apprenticeship promotion and feedback directly to government ministers.

The apprentices, who are next meeting on Wednesday, February 6th, will gather regularly to discuss the latest reviews and reports, government proposals and other issues affecting the vocational pathway – particularly promotion of Apprenticeships to school pupils, a subject highlighted by the apprentices themselves.

The IAC’s conclusions, findings and ideas will be fed directly into the All Party Parliamentary Apprenticeships Group (APPAG), which is also meeting on February 6th, with Skills Minister Matthew Hancock.

The IAC has been convened in partnership between EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry qualifications, and IMI Awards, the leading awarding body for the retail motor industry. Both organisations previously brought together the APPAG, to ensure Apprenticeships are discussed regularly among Parliamentarians and other key influencers.

Ann Watson, Managing Director of EAL, said: “The Industry Apprentice Council is a unique and important body that will give industry apprentices a genuine voice in Parliament and among key decision makers. The members of the Council will also become ambassadors for Apprenticeships in their sectors, raising their profile and promoting the opportunities to young people at school.

“The IAC members are enthusiastic, highly skilled, determined and intelligent individuals – superb examples of the standard of industry apprentices. They are not afraid to have their say and get stuck in and this is exactly what we were looking for when we set up the IAC.

“I am looking forward to hearing their views and opinions going forward. I am sure they will have some interesting ideas – a unique perspective on Apprenticeships and how they feel the vocational pathway can be improved for current and future apprentices.”

The IAC is made up of 12 apprentices aged 18 to 24 years old, from companies including: Airbus, BAE Systems, Caunton Engineering, DAF Trucks, Ford Dealerships, Ford GB, KMF, MBDA, National Grid, Nestlé and Vauxhall.

At the next meeting, the IAC will be discussing the Richard Review of Apprenticeships, among other policy recommendations, before attending the APPAG in the afternoon, to hear from and speak to the Skills Minister.


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