Formerly CEO of National Apprenticeship Service, I advise employers and skills organisations on Apprentieships and skills matters more broadly. I edited and contributed to A Race to the Top - Achieving three million more Apprenticeships by 2020. Awarded CBE in 2011 for services to Apprenticeships. Visiting professor at University of Winchester. Apprenticeship ambassador for learndirect. Adviser to EU Skills.
The new Government sees boundless opportunities as the country emerges from its #Brexit pre-occupation. One of these has to be a new Apprenticeship strategy as the current 2020 policy horizon has arrived.
Responsibilities for integrity, quality and funding give the new Institute for Apprenticeships a potentially vital and lasting role in the national skills infrastructure but only if its role is fully formed and it has the space to both support and constructively challenge the progress that the reforms are making.
If luck is an essential requirement for successful generals then timing is really important for Ministers who want to make a lasting difference. Robert Halfon has set out his priorities for his tenure and they are admirable. There is also a good chance they could be achieved if opportunities that currently present themselves are taken.
When there is a change of Prime Minister, commentators are quick to talk about the legacy left behind. This is usually simplified to one or two high-level strategic judgements or achievements. On this occasion, Brexit dominated but there were also wider reflections.
Prime Ministerial overviews rarely fail to feature apprenticeships. The aspiration that school leavers should either go into HE or start an apprenticeship, along with the manifesto commitment promising three million more apprenticeships by 2020, are clear public statements of intent and ambition.
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