Apprenticeship Week: Why we need reform

As we celebrate Apprenticeship Week, Tania Bowers of APSCo argues that reform is needed.

In the week that the nation celebrates Apprenticeship Week, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has once again called for a review of apprenticeships to better accommodate the flexible workforce.

Tania Bowers, Legal Counsel and Head of Public Policy at APSCo, commented: “Training and developing workers is going to be a key part of the future economic growth of the country and in the week that we celebrate apprentices, it’s important to also highlight how this on-the-job learning scheme can be improved to support the more flexible world of work.

It really is important that apprenticeships are extended to contingent workers – including contract professionals – to support this crucially valuable flexible segment of the workforce and help them develop skills in line with the changing business environment.”

“We’ve welcomed the measures that have been announced to provide some flexibility to apprenticeships over the last ten months. However, if the UK is to build the flexible skills it needs, how training is delivered must reflect this fluidity and that includes allowing the use of the apprenticeship levy for more adaptable training.

Portable apprenticeships that workers can carry across businesses, access to schemes for agency workers and a more flexible use of lifelong learning are just a few examples that should be seriously considered in order to drive a positive impact for both the economy and individuals alike.”

“Collaboration is also an important success factor for apprenticeships and we’re continuing to engage with the Government and is urging it to consider how it engages with recruitment businesses to deliver apprenticeship support.”

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