Adult learning body NIACE is calling for an industry-wide charter to ensure apprentices are supported to learn for a career and not just their current job.
NIACE chief executive David Hughes said government, employers, learners and providers must work together to create a new quality guarantee as part of a long-term vision for Apprenticeships.
“What is needed is a definition of quality which describes the learning experience,” he said.
“This would include the breadth of exposure the apprentice has to the company they are working for, the support and mentoring they will receive, the relevance of the qualification, the number of hours off-the-job training as well as on-the-job training, the progression opportunities at the end of the Apprenticeship and the chances of getting a permanent job at the end.”
According to Mr Hughes, good employers want staff who can carry on learning and developing, whereas good employees want to progress and earn more.
“That is a great virtuous circle of wants which we should focus more on in describing and measuring the Apprenticeship programme,” he said.
The call comes following publication of the Labour Policy Review: A revolution in Apprenticeships, which Mr Hughes said needed to go further to expose the innate tension between what an apprentice and an employer wants in the short-term.
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