02 Jul 2019
Ensuring young people have the opportunity to access high quality skills training, and workplace skills, should not be seen as something that can only be served by one approach. The apprenticeship agenda is an important way to bring many elements of this ambition together, but the provision behind it existed long before this current model. Both in further education and in higher education, at modern universities, focusing on technical and vocational training and skills is at the heart of what these institutions are about. At modern universities, for example, many courses are firmly rooted in a vocation, and include dedicated training and education to that effect – all within a setting that encourages personal development and access to world class university facilities.
It is vital in this discussion on skills to know how the modern educational landscape looks, and how it best serves young people (and mature learners also). It would be wrong to see apprentices as completely separate from those learners in higher education, or those in further education, as there will be overlaps. Each part of the wider education sector has its own benefits and specialisms that they can bring to help shape effective workplace opportunities. In fact, the Office for Students is now clear that its references to students include apprenticeships, and the Secretary of State has recently requested that OfS consider how to maintain oversight for those apprenticeships in providers not on the register.