A letter from Step Ahead CEO, Jackie Bedford, was published in the Financial Times. Read the letter text below:
Sir, To achieve substantially higher levels of apprenticeships in this country there needs to be a sea change in the way the government works with employers to deliver them (‘Adversaries urge companies to lift skills spending’, November 25). To ensure that apprenticeships meet business needs now, and in the future, the government should listen more to employers about the skills, attitudes and aptitudes they want to see developed.
A further problem is that Higher Level Apprenticeships are not marketed well. HLAs enable employees to develop highly specialised skills and knowledge, and in some instances are equivalent to a masters degree. The UK Commission for Employment and Skills is calling for the HLA scheme to be expanded. However, in our experience, both employers and employees are simply unaware of the benefits of HLAs and the options for implementing them.
Only with clear communication from the government and a willingness to listen to what employers really need, will we begin to see the development of the apprenticeships that will lead to appropriately skilled workforce that our continued economic success demands.
From the Financial Times, November 2014