Skills Minister John Hayes made a statement to the House of Commons on Monday outlining new plans to improve the quality of apprenticeships in the UK. These new plans are intended to build on an outline that was unveiled last year, plans that included the introduction of statutory standards for apprenticeships. With these recently unveiled plans, Hayes hopes to make apprenticeships more valuable to employers and job seekers as recruitment tools.
The changes to the current plan includes some of the following developments:
-Apprenticeships for those between the ages of 16 and 18 must last a minimum of 12 months beginning in August 2012.
-Contracts that not only ensure that employers follow regulations but also act "within the spirit of the apprenticeship programme."
-An inquiry panel will be established to manage poor-quality providers as violations are reported.
-All adult apprenticeships will be closely monitored to ensure that they provide sufficient career training
-Measures will be implemented by the government to ensure that all apprentices receive adequate opportunities to get Level 2 English and Maths.
Hayes made it clear that it is the duty of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) to "...ensure all apprenticeships are as good as the best" and to take strong and decisive action on short-term apprenticeships that do not measure up to the new quality standards.