Members of our Panel of Apprentices were consulted by the Skills Minister yesterday on challenges that they have experienced with their training programmes.

Anne Milton met 13 apprentices from the Institute for Apprenticeships’ panel during a special meeting at the Houses of Parliament.

She asked them to feed back to her and the IfA regularly in the coming months on their experiences with employers and training providers, and wider issues with the reform programme.

The Minister said:

“It was great to see how the panel of apprentices operates. Their input into how we run the apprenticeship programme is invaluable.
“For me it was extremely valuable to meet a group of apprentices from a wide variety of sectors.”

Apprentices who attended were representative of many sectors including hospitality, business administration, mineral products technology, civil engineering, science and laboratory, and digital and technology solutions.

Rosie Smith, 19, a level three business administration apprentice with City & Guilds, said afterwards: “I have never been in that environment before, so it was a really exciting opportunity for me to meet and talk to such an important Minister.”

Aimen Fatima, 21, a laboratory science degree apprentice from Manchester University, added: “I was really impressed that she actually took the trouble to speak to each of us, and gave us really good ideas on what we can work on as a panel and individually to help inform our feedback.”

Louis Curtis, 20, a level five apprentice in mineral product technology for Aggregate Industries, said: “The interest that she took in us and the importance that she placed on what we are doing as a panel was really encouraging.

“I think apprentices are a key stakeholder for the future of apprenticeships.

“We are the ones being trained and turned into better employees and better people - so it makes sense for her to take on board our views and experiences.”

Ms Milton advised the apprentices to closely follow future parliamentary questions relating to apprenticeships, that she and other ministers are posed in the House of Commons, to help inform their future feedback.

Sir Gerry Berragan, chief executive of the Institute, also attended the meeting.

He said: “It was fantastic to see our apprentices – who represent a great cross section of learners across the country – speak with the minister about important issues affecting apprentices.

“I rely on them for getting the apprentice view on how things are working and think they do a great job. I think we all learned a lot to take away.”

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