Listening to Apprentices for government consultation

9 May 2013

NIACE has welcomed the government’s response to the Richard Review and in particular its recognition that individuals of all ages can benefit from the opportunity that an Apprenticeship offers to both earn and learn. However, NIACE also believes that there should be more emphasis in the proposals on the role that Apprentices themselves can play in determining the curriculum, the scope, the delivery, the assessment and the improvements in quality.

David Hughes, NIACE Chief Executive, said:

“Despite being investors in their own education there is not enough of a role for Apprentices in how their learning happens. All too often there is a view that an Apprentice is a passive beneficiary with no contribution to make to the success of their own learning experience and process. Our experience with successful Apprentices is that their contribution and engagement with the design and delivery of their learning can make a world of difference.”

In order to help address this issue, NIACE has been interviewing a number of Apprentices whose experiences and expertise will inform its response to the consultation. The initial findings based on the feedback gained directly from the apprentice interviews have now been published by NIACE, to support other organisations when finalising their responses to the Government’s consultation.

NIACE is also keen to encourage and support other organisations to consult with their own apprentices in making a submission to the consultation, and has made its interview questions available to download.

Ian Bond, Project Officer for Apprenticeships at NIACE, said:

“The experiences of apprentices themselves are crucial to any future direction of policy. They have first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t work for people of all ages and backgrounds who are working hard to carve out a career through an Apprenticeship. This doesn’t mean that we are only listening to apprentices as the views of employers and providers are essential too.

However, the quality of the responses we have received so far from apprentices have been impressive. Their enthusiastic engagement with this process demonstrates their appetite to play a leading role in actively contributing to the success of the future of apprenticeships. Their views on Richard’s recommendations are mature, focused and illuminating.  I strongly recommend colleagues who are responding to the consultation engage with apprentices to inform their thinking too.”