From education to employment

New Apprenticeship Programme to Benefit Local Area

As the attentive reader of FE News will have noticed over the past few months, apprenticeships are being hailed as the best solution for many of the skills shortages that plague the nation.

In spite of the Government’s rejection of the Tomlinson Report’s recommendation for the immediate creation of vocational qualifications to run alongside and in partnership with the conventional GCSE and A Level assessments, there have been a number of statements from spokespeople both for the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) highlighting the importance of vocational education.

It is expected that the Leitch Review, a Treasury ““ sponsored review of the skills industry will require in the year 2020, will call for efforts to be redoubled in bridging the vocational gap in employment and education. The government is calling for employers to support the training and education programmes for their employees, to help to foot the cost of educating post 19.

Local Initiative

There is good news to be had, however, in Bedfordshire, as a local carpentry company are establishing a new pilot scheme. Carpentry Management Contracting (CMC) is to set up and manage an adult apprenticeship pilot for the construction industry.

The Bedfordshire-based carpentry firm is aiming to recruit and train 60 adults, aged 19 and over, to NVQ levels 2 and 3 over a two-year period. This is in line with the Government commitment to further the education in the workplace, which has been supported by a number of work ““ based commitments from other stakeholders including Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) and various union projects.

Speaking about this development, the managing director of the company Martyn Price said: “By funding training, the project encourages employers to recruit and train adults who can”t otherwise get into the industry. The pilot will adopt a consortium approach and enable employers who can”t offer a full training syllabus the chance to collaborate with others and fill the gaps.”

The onus, it appears, is on local enterprising companies to pick up the slack; and it seems that in Bedfordshire the challenge is being met!

Jethro Marsh

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