Jill Farmer (Dobson)

Member Article

Professional body to give evidence at national review

An influential north east professional body has been called to give evidence at a national review into the future of apprenticeships.

The Richard Review of Apprenticeships could have a significant impact on the training sector in the region where funding for apprenticeships is worth over £192m a year to training providers.

The Tyne, Wear and Northumberland Association of Learning Providers (TWNALP) has been invited to give strategic evidence at the Richard Review, at a meeting in Manchester this month.

Chairman Malcolm Armstrong will represent the views of its 46 members, which include colleges, private training providers, local authorities and voluntary organisations. TWNALP members collectively deliver over 10,000 apprenticeships across the region each year and work with businesses to up-skill their workforces.

Entrepreneur, Doug Richard, is to lead the independent appraisal for the Department for Business Innovation and Skills. He will examine how the government can ensure apprenticeships meet the needs of the changing economy and deliver the high quality training and skills that businesses need.

Mr Armstrong said: “We welcome this review because any efforts to ensure we deliver high quality apprenticeships are worthwhile. We are keen to demonstrate the important role that training providers play in promoting apprenticeships to employers, as well as delivering them. Training providers are more often than not the vital catalyst for ensuring businesses create apprenticeship opportunities in the first place – this needs to be recognised.

“Our members believe strongly that apprenticeships should always include a paid position for an apprentice from day one and good progression opportunities. Apprenticeships should be a positive alternative to going to university and suitable for young new recruits or up-skilling older workers.

“We would encourage the government to consider introducing a pre-apprenticeship programme to help tackle the issue of the growing number of people not in education, employment, or training (NEETS). We believe that there is a need for a programme that gives a leg-up to those who would like an apprenticeship but don’t have the employability skills an employer requires.

“This is a very important review and I would urge training providers to have their say.”

The Richard Review is appealing for views and submissions of evidence such as case studies or research findings, by September 7 2012. More information can be found here.

TWNALP is a confederation of organisations delivering work based learning to young people and adults in Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Sunderland.

TWNALP provides a direct link with funding bodies so that members can clearly understand and interpret how changes in further education policy affect them. TWNALP also helps members get ahead by sharing best practice and working together on projects and collectively applying for funding.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Jill Farmer (Dobson) .

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