ECA responds to Richard Review

ECA responds to Richard Review

Iain Macdonald, head of education and training at the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), has welcomed the findings of the Richard Review, saying: ‘Doug Richard’s findings have put employers and industry back in the driving seat when it comes to apprenticeships.’

He continued, ‘The Richard Review has made the most of the opportunity to lay down clear and concise guidelines about how apprenticeships should be structured, funded and delivered. Apprenticeship standards and frameworks should be developed by industry, for industry. While training providers have a key role to play in shaping the outcome of discussions around industry training, they must deliver what employers need. In his findings Doug Richard recognises this.’

Macdonald welcomed the call to use the tax system to incentivise employers to pay for the training of apprentices, saying, ‘This recommendation, something we have long been asking for, offers practical support and public recognition of the investment made by employers in apprenticeships. If administered in the proper way, it will help both small and large companies train apprentices, and in the current climate, will be well received by employers of all sizes.’

Macdonald added, ‘As we set out in our submission to the Review, companies in the construction sector currently face a dilemma when it comes to delivering work based training to their apprentices. They often struggle to insure apprentices under the age of 19 to go on site, but only receive 50 per cent of the funding for a 19 year old apprentice that they get for one aged 16-18. This issue needs to be resolved. If it isn’t employers, apprentices and the industry will continue to suffer. We remain concerned to ensure that Doug Richard’s good work is supported by sensible, joined up decisions in this respect.’

Macdonald concluded, ‘Above all, the Richard Review needed to protect the term ‘Apprenticeship’ – and it has put forward that recommendation. This term is synonymous with skilled industries, and should not become a catch-all term that encompasses all forms of vocational and workplace training. Doug Richard’s acknowledgement of this and his public endorsement of apprenticeships as an equal alternative to university is very welcome.’

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