Labour’s Skills Taskforce, chaired by Chris Husbands, has today published a report on apprenticeships: A revolution in apprenticeships: a something-for-something deal with employers.

Describing itself as a “strategy to dramatically increase the number and quality of apprenticeships in England” the report says: “to protect the apprenticeship brand, level 2 training should be renamed as a traineeship or similar.”

“A universal gold standard for apprenticeships would reduce much of the low quality provision that is of no value to either employers or learners, and would minimise‘deadweight’, where public funds are spent on training that would have taken place anyway.

“To remedy this situation, Labour should work towards a situation whereby all apprenticeships:

• Are level 3 or above, which is the norm in Germany and other countries with strong
apprenticeship systems;
• Last a minimum of 2 years for level 3 (equivalent to A level) and 3 years for level 4
(university level);
• Include at least a day a week (or the equivalent) of off-the-job training, ensuring that
young people receive the broader theoretical training that underpins mobility and
progression in the labour market alongside work-based training; and
• Are focused on new job entrants rather than existing employees”

The report goes on to say: “However, given that two-thirds of all apprenticeships in England are now at level 2, these measures would inevitably lead to a dramatic fall in apprenticeship numbers if introduced suddenly.

“Employers and providers should therefore be given time to improve the quality of their apprenticeships over an agreed period. It is also vital that young people achieving at level 2 are able to progress to higher levels, so level 2 apprenticeships should be redesigned, as well as renamed, to ensure courses provide a platform for progression to a level 3 apprenticeship.”

Today (Sunday 22) at 18:30 FE Week is holding a free to attend fringe event at the Labour Party Conference about the future of apprenticeships (for more click here