Re­forms can’t come quick enough

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

Iread with in­ter­est about the Gov­ern­ment’s ap­pren­tice­ship re­forms, the skills cri­sis and the lack of young peo­ple ( CCW, 15 Fe­bru­ary).

As an em­ployer in this sec­tor, like many oth­ers, the ap­pren­tice re­forms can­not come quickly enough. For decades our in­dus­try has been ne­glected, ig­nored and frankly badly let down by the es­tab­lish­ment and bod­ies set up within it to ad­dress this cri­sis.

I’m pleased to say that’s all chang­ing rad­i­cally. Power will trans­fer from these or­gan­i­sa­tions – which have so badly let us all down over many years – to em­ploy­ers. And not soft power, ei­ther – real power. Em­ploy­ers will be able to set up, de­sign and de­liver the ap­pren­tice pro­grammes that they want – and which, crit­i­cally, are at­trac­tive to young peo­ple. This trans­fer of power is un­der­pinned with one sim­ple, rad­i­cal change. Money. The fund­ing for ap­pren­tice­ships will no longer go to col­leges and train­ing providers; it’ll go di­rect to em­ploy­ers to spend where they see fit. This is noth­ing short of trans­for­ma­tional.

As a small em­ployer group we’ve de­vel­oped two new ap­pren­tice stan­dards that have at­tracted 100 young peo­ple on to the pro­gramme.

Let me say one fur­ther thing and de­bunk a com­monly held, of­ten in­cor­rectly re­peated myth. Young peo­ple do want to join this trade. What they don’t want is a bor­ing, dead-end ap­pren­tice­ship.

Chris Oliver, Fix Auto, Da­gen­ham, Es­sex

Train­ing to­mor­row’s en­gi­neers is vi­tal.

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