“Once again apprentices will ask whether they are to be included in the living wage revolution. Are we entitled to a fair days pay for a fair days work or is that just for other people. Labour was coy about whether their promise to deliver a living wage to everyone included us when it was announced in the summer, it’s time to let us know.
Apprentices have long identified the cost of travel being a barrier to success. We welcome the announcement that many of us will be able to get the bus for free.
The apprenticeship levy has indeed been beset by problems and does not work for small businesses. It’s not working for apprentices either. In an age that half of apprentices do not receive the education that they are entitled to, that training providers are paid for, it is disappointing that no action is to be taken to end the exploitation of these young workers.
Where education policy elsewhere is focussed on the learner apprentices seem to be the only people who can have their education dictated by the needs of business. Of all the conservative apprenticeship reforms keeping employers in the driving seat seems incongruent with the rest of the manifesto. The apprentices we speak to in Europe talk about a social partnership with educators, unions and apprentices as well as employers co-designing apprenticeships that work for everyone.
We await the guidelines to be set by the IFATE in deciding what is accredited training. We would also call for a much stronger role for apprentices themselves in the IFATE.
Within Labours Education proposals there are exciting ideas to democratise the education system, increase funding for school, colleges and universities and a welcome move to broaden the curriculum. But this has not been applied to apprentices. There is already widespread concern that employer designed apprenticeships have narrowed the education that many apprentices receive. It is disappointing that where a narrowing of the curriculum has been recognised as a problem elsewhere the perennial acceptance of a different standard for “other people’s children” remains.
Finally we would like clarification on whether the proposal to reverse the fragmentation and privatisation of FE include apprenticeship provision and how will this work?”