The US: ‘Attack the market’
“There is certainly interest about apprenticeship training in the US. It started getting a bit of traction under Barack Obama, and he started releasing some funding for it. The Trump administration has ended up running with it, so it looks like at the moment they’re quite interested in taking it further.
“We’re not talking huge numbers compared with the UK. We’ve got a 3 million target by 2020; they’re talking up to 5 million. When you consider their population, which is five times the size of ours, it gives you an idea about the sort of scale that we are talking about. But it’s definitely growing.
“I think the issue in the US is that the concept of apprenticeships isn’t as established as it is here. They’re at least a decade behind in their thinking. A number of providers are [going out to explore opportunities] in this new market – explaining what an apprenticeship is or could be, particularly the British sort of model.
“There’s a creeping feeling among providers here in the UK that there actually could be something for us in the US, but we don’t quite know how to go about it. There’s not a particularly strategic view of how to attack that market.”