EAL supports Select Committee report

Specialist awarding organisation EAL has backed a select committee report, which found that the numbers taking up apprenticeships are falling short of key industry targets.

The report, from The Education Select Committee, presented on Monday (March 9th) called for continued improvement in framework, standards and quality of apprenticeships.

Careers advice and parental perceptions of apprenticeships need urgent attention.

Julia Chippendale, managing director of EAL, the employer-recognised specialist industry awarding organisation said: “These findings reaffirm what we and the IAC have been saying consistently for the past two years – schools career advice is woefully inadequate in many cases.”

“It is why we launched our Closer to Industry pledge encouraging schools and colleges to offer impartial careers advice and promote vocational education as an alternative to university.”

‘We will continue to work tirelessly to help industry and education move forward together for the benefit of all.”

“EAL has always worked closely with employers to ensure its qualifications meet their needs and the needs of learners. The government’s apprenticeship reforms are taking this policy nationally, spearheaded by the Trailblazer scheme. This is helping to cement apprenticeships’ key role in the economic future of the country.”

“Trailblazers are seeing employers, awarding organisations and professional institutes working together to set new standards for apprenticeships to meet skills needs, increasing the value of the vocational pathway, ensuring learners are getting a better deal from their education and the best possible start to their careers.”

“We welcome this report and stand ready to continue to play our part in supporting all moves to improve participation in apprenticeships and ensure the qualifications we provide, in close consultation with our employers, are robust and fit-for-purpose to meet industry needs.”

The announcement comes just days after the biggest ever survey of apprentices by the Industry Apprentice Council, founded and funded by EAL and sponsored by the Institute of the Motor Industry, revealed a continued catastrophic failure of schools and colleges to provide adequate advice on apprenticeships and other vocational opportunities.

The survey, conducted by the Industry Apprentice Council (IAC) found that 45% of the 1,300 respondents received inadequate or no information about apprenticeships from their schools or colleges.

Only 7% learned of the apprenticeship option from careers advisors while 56% had to find out information for themselves.

The Education Select Committee report recommends Government:

  • urgently review the incentives for schools to provide good quality careers advice
  • require schools to work towards the Quality in Careers Standard and publish a careers plan
  • consider whether to revive the Young Apprenticeships programme or develop a model that replicates its core components
  • review the benefits provided by funding adult apprenticeships and apprenticeships for young people respectively and assess whether more or all of the money would be better spent on 16 to 19 year-olds
  • develop new proposals for funding reform and do so swiftly to avoid uncertainty
  • strengthen the role of SMEs in the Trailblazer programme
  • explain what will happen to apprenticeship standards following the conclusion of the Trailblazer scheme
  • provide greater clarity about the purpose of traineeships and what the success criteria for the programme are.

You can see the full results of the IAC survey here and the full education select committee report here.

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