Government plans to reduce the amount of bureaucracy surrounding apprenticeships have been welcomed by Ann Watson, managing director of specialist awarding organisation, EAL.
John Hayes MP was called upon to ensure that any action taken is solid, and has a real effect on levels of bureaucracy. Such bureaucracy acts as an obstacle to the smallest firms looking to take on apprentices, argued Watson.
“The government should also look at how it can reduce the bureaucratic burden on small to medium sized businesses too. SMEs account for nearly 50% of UK turnover, with engineering and manufacturing firms comprising a sizeable portion of that business,” said Watson.
“Their ongoing success is vital to the success of UK plc, and desperately needed if the UK is going to reinvigorate its export trade,” she added.
Watson claimed that there is a lack of direction when it comes to educating schoolchildren about the potential opportunities that apprenticeships can bring, and that this results in teenagers being unable to make decisions about what they want to do for a career when they reach GCSE and A Level age.
She argued that “we need more young people introduced to vocational training as the first step to a rewarding career. We hope the new National Careers Service will plug this gap when it is launched next year, and we recognise that the introduction of the NUS Apprentice card will also help reinforce the fact that an apprenticeship is not a ‘second-best’ option.”