The Government are doing some good work to promote apprenticeships. There have been some challenges with the way the apprenticeship levy works but I’m confident these can be ironed out.
However, if we’re to really shift things to encourage a step change in the number of young people choosing the apprenticeship route then we need to start at an early age when perceptions towards apprenticeships first form. We also need to reform the way in which Ofsted assesses schools so that schools and teachers are properly incentivised and rewarded for placing pupils into good quality apprenticeships. Rightly schools and teachers are held to account for their progress in hitting academic bench marks, however this needs to be complemented with measurements that assess how good a school is at promoting the vocational route.
The academic route and University works for many. However its not the route for all. A good quality apprenticeship works better for many but too often in the past this option hasn’t been properly sign posted so many of our young people have missed out.
There are multiple pathways to a good and fulfilling career and not all involve going to University. The education system needs to be reformed so that Ofsted measure technical excellence in our schools as well as academic excellence. For too long the UK has lagged behind many other European countries when it comes to the number of apprentices, particularly Germany, if we’re going to get the skilled workforce for the future we need to thrive post-Brexit then this needs to change.