The Education Committee launches inquiry into the quality of apprenticeships and skills training.

While many independent training providers and further education colleges are providing excellent training, too much provision is poor. For example, Ofsted last year reported that 37% of apprenticeship providers were less than good.

The inquiry examines whether employers, learners and tax payers are getting sufficient value for the time and money invested in training, and whether more needs to be done to detect poor-quality provision.

The inquiry  also looks to uncover barriers faced by the socially disadvantaged in accessing skills training and consider how Government funding can be used to remove these barriers.

Training vital to the future health of the economy

Chair Robert Halfon used a speech at The Skills Show in Birmingham to launch the inquiry. He said:

"Social justice and productivity is at the heart of the work of the Committee and high quality apprenticeships and skills training should play a key part in helping people climb the ladder of opportunity.

Encouraging more people to pursue training is vital to the future health of our economy, but too much of what is on offer does not live up to the standards that people deserve and will do little to boost our productivity. I am particularly concerned about the quality of training provided by some subcontractors.

Through this inquiry we will examine not only the quality of training but also how effective the current monitoring system is at rooting out those courses which are not up to scratch.

We will also be looking at how Government funding should be distributed to ensure we’re filling skills gaps, rewarding great providers and punishing poor ones.

Finally, amid worrying reports that pursuing apprenticeships and other forms of training is prohibitively expensive for some, we will be looking at what can be done to ensure that they are truly open to everyone, regardless of background."

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