The government’s review of the AGE scheme and training standards suggests positive developments for apprenticeships, says Perspective
Posted: Thursday 13 September, 2012
Findings from the Holt review have positively highlighted areas for development within small and medium enterprises (SMEs) Believes leading learning management provider Perspective. The areas to develop include apprentice training and courses, with the government reviewing the Apprentice Grant for Employers (AGE) scheme and training standards as a sign of support.
Jason Holt, appointed by the government to head an employer-led review of apprenticeships, stated that SMEs are finding poor strategy, insufficient authority and a lack of awareness as obstacles to take on apprentices. Holt’s report suggested that more needs to be done to inform SMEs of the AGE scheme and, in addition to this, the performance of training providers should be measured with consequences for those not reaching the requirements.
In response to Holt’s discoveries, the government has announced up to 40,000 grants are to be provided in a bid to widen the AGE scheme. Where previously the grants were exclusively available to businesses recruiting 16- to 24-year-olds, with a maximum employment total of 240 employees, new government proposals will allow companies with up to a maximum number of 1,000 workers to apply for up to £1,500 in grant investment. Furthermore, the reformed grants are expected to be paid in one initial amount as opposed to the current split payment method, which is hoped to encourage employers take on multiple apprentices.
In light of the study, the government has addressed the issues of communicating information about the AGE scheme. Additionally, it has stated that training provider standards are to be monitored going forward.
Paul Davis, managing director of Perspective, an established provider of education tracking software, said: “The government’s support for small and medium enterprises and of the AGE scheme is important for continual progression in the development of apprenticeships. SMEs need more clarification and structure when taking on new apprentices and with the improvement of communicating the reformed scheme, more SMEs should take advantage of it, with more apprentices enrolling as a result.”
Perspective is a leading provider of individual learning plans, with its student management system, Sunesis, being implemented by numerous local authorities and businesses around the UK and subsequently being responsible for monitoring millions of learners. For more information, please visit www.perspective-uk.com or call 0121 506 9540.