So it’s National Apprenticeship Week and it’s great that nationally
we are promoting this wonderful initiative.
There is no doubt in my mind that Apprenticeships for young people offer
a fantastic way to earn and learn as well as an opportunity to develop new
skills. However there has been a long
debate in the UK about parity of esteem with the academic route taken by 50% of
If we truly want to achieve parity of esteem we need
Government Departments including the sponsor of National Apprenticeship Week, the
Department for Business Innovation & Skills (BIS) to employ more Apprentices. I was at a conference today and was dismayed
to learn that BIS employ only 14 apprentices.
If we truly want a world class education system where apprenticeships sit alongside the academic route, Government Departments as well as employers need to do more in this area. Ministers often quote the German vocational system as the model of good practice. Sadly the UK is nowhere near in terms of its competitiveness or arrangements for making the Apprenticeship route a real option for the 50% of young people that do not wish to pursue a traditional academic route.