Dec 13

The Institute For Learning Comments On The Richard Review Of Apprenticeships

Published by Bryan Shendon


Entrepreneur and former BBC Dragonís Den star Doug Richard published his long awaited review in to apprenticeships on the 27 November 2012. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) commissioned Mr Richard to look at how well apprenticeships are able to deliver the skills needs of the future.


The Institute for Learning (IfL) has responded to the Richard review of apprenticeships. Toni Fazaeli, IfL’s chief executive, said, “As well as offering significant benefits to individual young people and adults, apprenticeships can make an enormous contribution to building the skilled workforce that our economy needs. We hope the government will take seriously Doug Richard’s recommendations to maintain and improve their status and quality.

IfL’s evidence to his review was informed by the views of more than 700 members in the work-based learning part of the further education and skills sector, for many of whom the difference between apprenticeships and on-the-job training was a hot topic in the context of value for money for the taxpayer, so we are pleased to see the report making this distinction.

It was strongly stated that training should be delivered by qualified experts and that apprenticeships should offer a programme of education as well as a programme of training. This accords with Mr Richard’s description of an apprenticeship as ‘a form of education’, to which IfL would add the implicit requirement that therefore it needs experts in learning, training and assessing.

“We agree with the assertion that good quality training is about more than empowered employers and robust standards and that investment in the capacity of good quality trainers is also important”. IfL consistently argues that teaching and training across the learning and skills sector is an attractive and rewarding career route. Through professional qualifications and continued professional development training practitioners are able to ‘find better ways of identifying good training, promoting it and supporting it to grow’.

IfL believes that apprenticeship programmes should help individuals develop skills that enable them to continue learning, developing and staying competitive in the labour market in the long term. A straightforward way that providers can do this is by ensuring that front-line trainers and assessors have the required qualifications themselves. However, all staff, not just Apprentices should be given the opportunity to develop their skills and knowledge so that they can stay competitive. Therefore professional practitioners, trainers and assessors will make judgments on the competency and skills of all staff within an organisation and so must maintain their own competency in all the fields they work.

Although the report focused on Apprenticeships its main point is that the effectiveness of individual apprenticeships or training programmes relies to a great extent on teachers and trainers, as dual professionals, maintaining up to date knowledge and expertise in their vocational or subject specialism as well as in teaching and learning techniques.

We at Target Training offer the full range of Training, Assessment and Quality Assurance Awards through City & Guilds which are aimed at all levels and roles within Learning & Development and which cover both Accredited and Non-Accredited Training.  


Older news items get archived by date. Please feel free to look through the archives to view past releases.


All our articles are tagged with the relevant keywords to make it easier for you to find what you are looking for. Below is a list of the keywords in use.