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Friday, 6 December

Coffee Making Apprenticeships Tar the Brand

Ofsted is due to publish a report on Wednesday (October 21) about apprenticeships in the UK and has found some aspects wanting in terms of quality.

The head of Ofsted, Sir Michael Wilshaw has levelled criticism at the Government for what he sees as an ill-advised rush to create apprenticeships, resulting in a significant proportion that are covering existing skills or low-level ones such as coffee making.

In a briefing to journalists prior to the report being published, Sir Michael criticised ‘low-level apprenticeships’ which he believed were particularly present in service sectors, e.g. retail and care. He believed these did not provide the required training that would really stretch their abilities. He noted that those on ‘courses’ did not realise they were part of apprenticeship schemes.

The report will state bluntly that the ‘apprenticeship brand’ has been ‘devalued’ although there was an apparent commitment to improve both value and quality of vocational learning.

However, Sir Michael stated in the briefing that he supported the government's commitment to deliver 3 million apprenticeships over the next five years.

Defending the government’s record, Skills minister Nick Boles was robust in what had been achieved so far, although there was much still to be done: “Putting an end to poor quality apprenticeship training lies at the heart of our reforms of apprenticeships,” he said. “Ofsted's report backs up the findings of our 2012 review and provides further evidence for our decision to put employers rather than training providers in the driving seat.”

Picture: Sir Michael Wilshaw, head of Ofsted – believes too many apprenticeships are covering existing skills or low-level ones like coffee making

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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