27 November 2012
Association of Colleges’ skills policy manager, Teresa Frith, said: “It is heartening to see colleges singled out in the Richard Review as ‘world leaders’ and ‘innovating in the delivery of apprenticeships’. Many of our members pride themselves on the work they do in this area.
“The review as a whole lays out a solid and clear definition of what an apprenticeship should be and how it should be structured. In that respect it recognises the apprenticeship brand may have been stretched in recent years. We will need to consider any implications a more concise and universally shared definition might have on the broader employer responsive offer. The review would also result in a narrowing of the definition of apprenticeships and would therefore necessarily reduce the numbers of those taking part.
“Doug Richard’s recommendations focus on the importance of the employer and we are keen to see colleges brought closer to both the apprentice and the employer. Our experience suggests that the stronger the direct relationships, the better the experience for all. However, there is little clarity on how this relationship will be managed or formed.
“Overall, and bearing in mind the review’s insistence that all recommendations must be taken on board or none at all, we agree in the main but believe there may well be some significant challenges for all stakeholders when it comes to implementation, particularly when considering the proposed funding route.”