Apprenticeships must be available to people of all ages and at every stage of their career - CMI

Posted On: 
16th May 2019

If the apprenticeship reforms are to work, they need time to bed in, says CMI.

The concerns and frustrations around the apprenticeship levy and the wider system are well-known: too much bureaucracy, not enough flexibility, a lack of transparency and constantly shifting policy priorities. 

What employers want is stability.

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We know that recent changes to funding bands have already resulted in employers either halting the recruitment of new apprentices or withdrawing from existing programmes. If the apprenticeship reforms are to work, they need time to bed in.

We need to ensure that there are high quality standards, for all occupations, available right across the country. This includes provision at all levels, including higher and degree apprenticeships. The latter are key to developing the higher-level skills the economy needs and essential if we are to build parity of esteem between academic and vocational routes. 

We also need to recognise the role that apprenticeships can play in re-skilling and up-skilling existing workers. 

One of the biggest challenges facing employers over the next decade will be retraining and redeploying mid-career, middle-aged workers.

McKinsey estimate that as many as 375m workers - around 14% of the global workforce - will need to change  roles and occupations as advances in technology, automation and AI transform the world of work.

We must ensure that apprenticeships are available to people of all ages and at every stage of their career.