BIS Select Committee to visit Sheffield for apprenticeship inquiry

The Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee has announced it will be visiting Sheffield as part or its ongoing inquiry into apprenticeships.

The committee will hold a number of formal oral evidence sessions between March 5-6, 2012 with employers who promote or offer apprenticeships, as well as learners currently enrolled on apprenticeship schemes.

Adrian Bailey MP, chairman of the BIS Select Committee said: “Sheffield is home to a number of significant organisations and employers offering innovative and meaningful apprenticeship schemes.

“This is something that is being replicated right across the UK and is something the Committee wants to experience first-hand.

“Visiting Sheffield will allow the Committee to take evidence from a wide range of interested parties.”

The committee says other visits and formal evidence sessions will be announced shortly.

Written evidence needs to be submitted to the BIS Select Committee by the end of today, following a deadline extension last week.

“This is a hugely important inquiry; apprenticeships are vital to boosting employment and growth throughout the country,” Mr Bailey said.

“The Committee feels it is vital that apprenticeships are structured in such a way so as to maximise their potential and to provide young people in the UK with requisite skills for future success.”

The terms of reference for the inquiry are:

– How successful has the National Apprenticeship Service been since it was created in April 2009? Has it helped bridge the gap between the two funding Departments? (BIS and DfE)

– Is the extra funding promised by the Coalition Government necessary for apprenticeships? How can this funding best be spent?

– Are apprenticeships of a high enough quality to benefit apprentices and their employers? Should there be more Level 3 apprenticeships?

– Apprenticeship bonuses – how should they function? Will they encourage the involvement of more small and medium sized businesses to take on apprentices? If not what will?

– Is the current funding arrangement for training of apprentices of 100% for 16-18 year olds and 50% for 19-24 year-olds appropriate?

(Written evidence should be sent to the Committee using the following e-mail address: biscommem@parliament.uk)