The value of apprenticeships is high
Ann Watson, managing director of specialist Awarding Organisation, EAL, has responded to research carried out by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) on the economic value of government funded post-19 qualifications.
Watson said, ‘I am extremely heartened by the government’s findings that apprenticeships generate £40 for each £1 of government investment. Over the course of their lifetime, they contribute an additional £75bn to the government’s purse, which is a substantial return on investment and a significant contribution to strengthening our economy. I believe that a financial commitment to skilled apprenticeships will be the key to creating the renewed economy the government is calling for.
‘The report states that compared to other learning streams, an apprenticeship adds the most value of all FE qualifications, which is case in point for the government increasing funding for apprenticeship places. In order to maximise its investment, it must ensure that training is linked to higher level skills, particularly in the engineering and manufacturing/building services sectors, and is tailored to the needs of employers.’
Following Business Secretary Vince Cable’s comment that the government has ‘freed the sector from a number of unnecessary bureaucratic burdens’ Watson concluded, ‘The government’s commitment to slash the red tape which hinders engagement with training has been fantastic, but I’m sure we’d all agree that there is still headway to be made. It will be important for government to maintain its understanding of the specific training needs of industries such as building services, and the difficult conditions which companies – especially SMEs – face when formulating policy.’