The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA) have stated that a new government review of apprenticeships – the Richard Review, headed by entrepreneur, Doug Richard – must lead to the exclusion of courses unrecognised by industry, if it is to restore faith in the apprenticeship brand.

Iain Macdonald, ECA head of education and training, said, “I’m delighted to see that the government has finally started asking questions about whether some apprenticeships really deliver value for money. We strongly believe that funding should only be used for courses that prepare an individual for a career, whether in a catering firm, a manufacturing plant or, indeed, as an electrician.

Government must ensure that only apprenticeships with industry recognised outcomes receive funding. It is these that provide a real route to employment, guaranteeing the government’s investment will pay dividends in years to come.”

Macdonald continued, “Government initiatives such as Feed-in-Tariffs and the Green Deal mean electricians are a critical part of the 21st Century construction industry. Ensuring we have a skilled workforce for years to come is the best possible return on investment, as they are the people who will help the country meet its carbon reduction targets today and be the business leaders of tomorrow. With the review being led by entrepreneur Doug Richard, we hope to see conclusions that genuinely benefit industry, employees and the economy, rather than training providers and firms looking to offload the cost of basic training onto taxpayers.”