Ann Watson, managing director of EAL, the specialist awarding organisation for industry qualifications, has responded to ‘Making apprenticeships more accessible to small and medium sized enterprises: a review by Jason Holt’.
She said, “The Holt review of apprenticeships provision flags up important barriers facing SMEs in recruiting and training apprentices. It is important the advice and guidance available to SMEs is robust and accessible, and more needs to be done to raise awareness and boost the profile of apprenticeships in schools. So, it is encouraging to see the government directly address these issues.
“It is also vitally important that training providers offer the best possible service to both employers and learners, ensuring their learning programmes meet skills needs. The Holt report rightly criticises training providers that offer a ’take it or leave it’ service, recommending inappropriate frameworks that leave apprentices with unnecessary skills and employers with an undertrained employee.
“EAL works directly with industry employers and training providers from the beginning, advising on apprenticeships to meet their specific needs so they become an integral part of an organisation’s recruitment process. Working with employers is essential to producing the content of any industry qualification, including apprenticeships, as this ensures that the skills needs of a local area and the wider sector are addressed.
“We also join the Holt review in recognising the valuable contribution made by group training associations (GTAs) to serve SMEs. EAL is committed to working with GTA England to help support employer partnerships that meet industry needs.”