‘I don’t know, or if I did I wouldn’t tell you’ — it’s quite a statement for Skills Minister Nick Boles to make to FE Week readers.
And to be clear, our presence at this exclusive round-table had been cleared with him.
So it’s disappointing to hear his refusal to give straight answers to simple questions about apprenticeship quality.
As a holder of public office, he cannot simply bluster away such questioning and nor should he want to considering the question asked could well be key to paving the way for standards. Employers and providers are understandably anxious about the shift from frameworks — and here’s just more evidence of this.
So if the Apprenticeship Delivery Board serves just one purpose then it would be most helpful if that purpose were to get Boles to be more forthcoming.
David Hughes is quite right to air concerns about giving employers the job of policing employers. We’ll just have to wait and see if it’s a view heard by Boles.
And while the minister may well not want to share his views with the public, the sector would like to share its views with him on this with a consultation — it might just be the only hope of slowing down the mad dash to launch the Institute for Apprenticeships.