@ApprenticeAPPG inquiry calls on MoD and Government to work closer with schools and industry to safeguard defence apprenticeships for the future
The Apprenticeship schemes run by the Ministry of Defence are a great success story, that deserves wider recognition, a cross-party group of parliamentarians has found.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships, run by cross-party parliamentarians, took evidence from the Defence Minister, Leo Docherty MP, leading officials at the Ministry of Defence, as well as current and former MoD apprentices and industry to assess the quality, progression, and potential for improving apprenticeships in the sector.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is the largest employer of apprentices in the UK. It runs separate schemes for the Armed Forces and the Civil Service. The MoD takes primary responsibility for training their apprentices, though they subcontract some of this work to other providers. The MOD’s apprenticeship programme is widely recognised for its high-quality programmes, with over 90,000 apprenticeships delivered in subjects as diverse as cyber, engineering and healthcare. The three branches of the armed forces run their own apprenticeships programs, with over 22,000 apprenticeships working at any one time across 100 different programmes as part of its commitment to through life development.
The inquiry found that MoD apprenticeships are an excellent opportunity for progression and development for those looking to upskill and re-skill – are demonstrative of social mobility, and can be a viable route towards supporting communities experiencing high-youth unemployment.
The MoD is highly regarded for the quality of its apprenticeships, but there could be stronger collaboration with industry, schools and communities. The APPG found that there is a need to raise awareness of the high-quality opportunities of defence apprenticeships, as well as a requirement to promote greater accessibility in the application process.
The inquiry also found that whilst defence apprentices where very highly valued in the sector and their satisfaction and retention was high, more could be done to collaborate with external organisations. This includes maximising opportunities for mentoring and career development whilst further developing transferable skills to support progression.
Best practice examples of delivering quality apprenticeships in the MoD should also be shared amongst other Government departments to support public sector uptake of apprenticeship provision.
Apprenticeships APPG Co-Chair and inquiry Chair, Jack Lopresti MP, said:
“The MoD will play a prominent role in achieving the Government’s levelling-up ambitions and supporting the UK’s economic recovery as we look to the future. I hope the Government supports the inquiry’s recommendations to better promote defence apprenticeships in the education system, along with increasing the availability and accessibility of apprenticeships in the MoD and wider defence sector to students. I also hope to see the Government and industry work closely to develop the transferable skills apprentices can master for their future careers within the MoD and the wider sector.”
The APPG on Apprenticeships have today, Tuesday 08 March, published its inquiry report; Supporting apprenticeships in the Ministry of Defence (MoD): Assessing the quality, progression, and potential.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Apprenticeships, ran by cross-party parliamentarians, took evidence from leading officials at the Ministry of Defence, the Defence Minister, Leo Docherty MP, as well as current and former MoD apprentices and industry to assess the quality, progression, and potential for improving apprenticeships in the sector.