Institution responds to report on apprenticeships

Institution responds to report on apprenticeships

Peter Finegold, Head of Education and Skills at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, has responded to an apprenticeships report by the Sub-Committee on Education, Skills and the Economy:

“The Institution welcomes the views that the Sub-Committee set out in its new report on apprenticeships and supports the Committee’s recommendation that the 3 million apprenticeship target should not be the only measure of success.

“Employer-led skills means employers have responsibilities beyond their immediate skills needs. Employers should feel they are in a social contract with future prospective employees, their community and the nation as a whole to improve skills and productivity in the long term. The most challenging skills needs are in the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) sectors and we welcome the Committee’s proposal that the Government publishes a document annually setting out shortages on a national, regional and sector-specific basis.

“Following the UK’s decision to leave the EU and in anticipation of the proposed Industrial Strategy, we also strongly believe that the greatest threat to the scheme’s ambitions is the poor signalling towards technical courses in our schools. We strongly advocate the Committee’s recommendation to government to set out its careers strategy as soon as possible.

“There must be substantial investment in schools for teachers, pupils and parents to bring about a significant improvement in careers education. Initiatives like the Institution conceived STEM Insight, where teachers spend one week in an industrial or university placement, are already having an influence. Teachers should spend time in the modern workplace to understand the value of technical skills.”

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