Boost for employers as apprenticeships red tape is slashed
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Issued on 06 September 2011
Skills Minister John Hayes today announced a package of new measures to
make it easier for employers to take on large numbers of apprentices.
Responding to the recommendations of a review led by the Employer
Reference Group, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and large
companies, including BT and TUI Travel, Mr Hayes said that firms that
contract directly with the Government to train apprentices will now
benefit from simplified payment, reporting and assessment requirements.
They will also receive better guidance to help them manage the
recruitment, training and assessment of apprentices more efficiently
and cost effectively.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said:
“Apprenticeships are proving an increasingly effective training route
for young people and companies. They are a proven way to fill skills
gaps in our economy. That’s why we are boosting the number of
apprenticeships and putting them at the heart of our Skills for Growth
“But for far too long too many businesses have been put off by overly
complex procedures and unnecessary layers of paperwork. We’ve worked
with business to cut bureaucracy and ensure the benefits for employers,
learners and the economy are maximised”.
Announcing the measures at a summit hosted by the CBI today, Mr Hayes
“I’m determined that more employers and learners than ever should have
the opportunity to benefit from our unprecedented investment in
apprenticeships. Where red tape and bureaucracy deters employers from
taking on apprentices, we’ll sweep it away.
“That will give more firms access to the skills they need to thrive,
creating new jobs and new growth, and it will give many more
individuals better prospects and the chance to gain a real stake in
Key aspects of the action plan for cutting red tape for employers
A pilot for over 20 large employers who
have volunteered to trial “payment by outcomes” which will eliminate a
number of data returns and audit requirements.
Providing an online plain-English
toolkit for employers that clearly explains the end-to-end processes
employers need to undertake for apprenticeships.
Streamlining contracting arrangements.
A commitment to no “in year” changes to
A more proportionate approach to audit
and inspection - reducing preparation time for employers.
Greater use of electronic information,
thus reducing paperwork.
A more streamlined certification process.
Susan Anderson, CBI Director for Education & Skills policy,
“We welcome today’s report and the Government’s commitment to expanding
apprenticeship schemes. Apprenticeships are vital to developing the
skills that support economic growth and many employers already deliver
“Cutting bureaucracy will support even more businesses to become
involved and these recommendations set out the right path for reform.
They recognise that employers are primarily concerned with the
day-to-day running of their businesses, and that they are committed to
offering high quality training as their reputation and business success
depends on this. We will work with government to take these plans
BT Director of Education and Skills Andy Palmer said:
"For the last year BT has worked as part of BIS’s Employer Reference
Group to improve the system and reduce the burdens on employers. The
changes we are proposing will have a significant impact on bureaucracy
rather than merely tinkering at the edges.”
The Government has put the expansion of a high-quality, employer-led
apprenticeships programme at the heart of a reformed skills system.
This year’s budget included an additional £150m to deliver 50,000
additional apprenticeships, and in July the Prime Minister announced
details of a new Higher Apprenticeships Fund to help key industries
including advanced manufacturing and engineering develop the advanced
skills needed to drive growth and create an ownership society.
Further measures to cut red tape for small and medium sized employers
taking on apprentices will be unveiled this autumn as part of the
Government's plan for growth.
The Government is creating the
biggest and best apprenticeship programme in the country's history,
with funding in place for some 360,000 apprenticeships this year alone,
and an increased emphasis on progression to advanced and higher level
vocational qualifications as well as basic skills for employment.
Apprenticeships are available for more than 200 job roles.
The reforms announced today are
in response to a report from the Employer Reference Group (produced by
the Learning and Skills Improvement Service), also published today,
which sets out recommendations for tackling the bureaucracy faced by
large direct contract employers delivering Apprenticeships. The report
“Employer Reference Group – Simplifying end?to?end apprenticeship
processes for employers” is available at www.lsis.org.uk
The recommendations and actions
arising from this project will be taken forward by the Skills Funding
Agency and National Apprenticeship Service, working with BIS and DfE,
Ofsted, Ofqual and other partners including employers and
their representative bodies.
About the Author
© Crown Copyright. Material taken from the BIS Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Reproduced under the terms and conditions of the Click-Use Licence.
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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2011-09-07 11:03:45 in Employee Articles