How can apprenticeships make the workplace better?
Thursday, 24 January 2013
09:00 - 10:30
The Work Foundation, 21 Palmer Street, London, SW1H 0AD
Details of the seminar:
In collaboration with the CIPD and Unionlearn we hosted an event which examined how apprenticeships can make the workplace better.
As the 2012 Richard Review made clear, everyone likes
apprenticeships. They are good for young people and good for the economy. They
support young people’s transitions from school to work and help provide the
skills the economy needs now and in the future.
Apprenticeships are also good for employers. Research has shown
that apprentices tend to be highly effective and loyal members of staff.
However, despite the seemingly strong business case for taking on apprentices,
relatively few UK employers do so. In Germany, by contrast, almost all
employers take on apprentices. The question this event sought to answer,
therefore, is: if the business case for hiring apprentices is so strong, why
don’t more UK employers do so?
The event gathered important figures connected to
apprenticeships to discuss the question.
• Richard Marsh
said that 600,000 people will start an apprenticeship in the UK over the next
year and that NAS’s current focus is on improving the quality of
apprenticeships. This had been a complaint among employers in the past.
• Iain Murray
argued that a long-term effort was required to change the culture in the UK
such that taking on apprenticeships becomes the ‘done thing’ – as it is in
other countries. He said the UK had ‘lost the habit’ of employing 16 year-olds.
• Lynne Atkin
described the apprenticeship programme Barclays launched last year (which will
end up hiring 1,000 apprentices), and highlighted the positive impact the
programme has had on her company.
• Elizabeth Eddy
thought that ‘myth busting’ was an important part of the answer, because many
managers in the NHS (a very large employer) believed falsely they could not
hire apprentices because of their young age.
• Peter Cheese
framed the apprenticeships question within the wider issue of the ‘skills gap’
problem faced by parts of the UK economy. He argued that the UK’s industrial
and education strategies need to be better connected.
Questions followed the presentations, and included a discussion
on the potential use of procurement to encourage employers to take on
apprentices, on the importance of a careers service in schools to present
apprenticeships as an option to school children, and on the need to engage
small and medium sized businesses in the apprenticeship programme.
To find out more information about this event, please email Alice Holland (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone 0207 976 3513.
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