Ofsted warns apprenticeships expansion ‘devaluing brand’

The BBC is reporting warnings from Ofsted that the push to create apprenticeships fast has devalued their brand, with low level skills such as coffee-making being accredited.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw says some learners are not even aware they are on apprenticeship schemes.

Apprenticeships, which ministers in England say are key to tackling unemployment, are sometimes covering workers’ pre-existing skills, he says.

The government says it is improving the quality of schemes through reforms.

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Putting an end to poor quality apprenticeship training lies at the heart of our reforms of apprenticeships.

“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.”

Changes include legislation that will provide protection for the term “apprenticeship” to prevent misuse by providers in England, the government says.

Apprenticeships will also be included in performance tables from 2018.

Sir Michael says low-level apprenticeships are particularly common in service sectors, such as retail and care.

But he argues these do not provide sufficient training that stretches and improves apprentices’ capabilities.

Sir Michael says he supports the government’s commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships over the next five years.

But Ofsted will say in a forthcoming report that many of the courses on offer fail to give learners the skills and knowledge employers are looking for, or add value to the economy. 

It concludes the apprenticeship brand has been devalued at a time when there is a drive to improve the value and quality of vocational learning…

More at: Apprenticeships expansion ‘devaluing brand’


Do you share these concerns from SMW that too many apprenticeships are failing to provide real training and development for the young people on them?

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Categories: Employment and Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove One’s never quite sure if there’s a political motive when SMW speaks now; I don’t believe much of what he says now

  2. Dai_James1942

    SchoolsImprove National Curriculum, which you have slavishly enforced for 25 years, has already deprived the cohort of all useful skills.

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