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Stewart Segal, Chief Executive of AELP writes:
The Times on Tuesday contained an editorial and a 16 page supplement on Apprenticeships – just the sort of publicity that we need to promote the benefits of the Apprenticeship approach. The editorial sets out in particular its clear support for all routes to sustainable careers, and that these should be valued by young people and parents alike, whilst recognising that this is a long term cultural change and will not happen overnight. Training providers that are getting that message across day in, day out, will be pleased that the national media is finally getting the message. This follows on from the National Apprenticeship Awards evening on Tuesday where the achievements of employers and apprentices were celebrated, to be followed by the publicity of Apprenticeship Week for which AELP are supporting the conference.
When you link all this to announcements made this week that the government will be strengthening the requirements for schools to provide effective IAG to all young people by ensuring training providers have access to all students and parents, and the fact that all public sector employers will be encouraged to recruit and train apprentices, then you can begin to see that the focus on Apprenticeships is having a real impact.
However, just as providers try and respond to this increasing demand there is another delay in the response to the 16-19 growth requests which were made before Christmas. Although we have had the responses to 19+ requests, already a number of providers have been turned down or have only been granted a proportion of their business case. Providers do a lot of work in driving up demand and most of this is at risk if they are already at their contract limit. We have to get a system that is more responsive to growth and one that can build confidence in providers that they can discuss new opportunities with employers with the confidence that the funding will be there to create those opportunities.