Chamber welcomes apprentice law change

DERBYSHIRE and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce has welcomed news from Government minsters that employers could be given control of their apprenticeship qualifications to tackle skills shortages that prevent UK growth.

The decision comes in response to a review last year of apprenticeships in Britain by Doug Richard, the Dragon’s Den entrepreneur.

Mr Richard called for employers to be put in charge of the £1.5bn a year Government funding for on-the-job training.

Yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced that a programme to revise how apprenticeships are managed would begin with a formal consultation in the near future.

Ian Greenaway, Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) president, and a strong advocate of apprenticeships and closer links between businesses and schools, said he was pleased that the Government could be giving power to employers who have the most knowledge about what skillset is required.

“Allowing employers to design their own training programmes and qualifications is something the chamber welcomes, “ said Mr Greenway.

“It is the employers who know what skills they need young people to have to drive their businesses forward and each industry has its own specific needs.

“I have no doubt that the consultation will identify to Ministers exactly what business needs and will identify how those needs can be best met through bespoke training programmes rather than the one-size-fits-all approach which prevails at the moment.”

The Government hopes the formal consultation, which is open to 22nd May, will garner views on how best to create a system that empowers employers to design the high quality standards that work for them, supported by qualifications that are widely recognised and valued.

After the consultation and dialogue with key stakeholders, the Government proposes to confirm the new approach by the autumn with the new approach implemented in 2014/15.