To help ensure that every apprentice has an excellent experience and that their Apprenticeship is a solid foundation for a vibrant and successful career, NIACE is, today, proposing the introduction of an Apprentice Charter. By awarding employers the Charter’s quality mark, it is hoped that the Apprenticeship programme will result in job outcomes, progression throughout careers, wage gains and mean all apprentices become more effective in the workforce.
The Apprentice Charter, one of NIACE’s six priority actions for the next Government, will:
- bring together Government, employers and apprentices to determine what a high quality apprenticeship experience is;
- be a quality mark for employers to be assessed against and to be proud of;
- provide an independent guarantee to parents, advisers, young people and adults that an Apprenticeship is worth their consideration and investment;
- give clarity to what Apprenticeships are for, what the outcomes are and how to measure success; and
- increase accessibility to Apprenticeships by disabled people and people from minority ethnic groups.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:
“The best Apprenticeship programmes are fantastic; they give people superb starts in their new jobs, the opportunity to move on and the confidence to keep learning throughout the rest of their careers which may last 40 or 50 years. Let’s make all Apprenticeships like the best. And the Apprentice Charter will deliver that.
“There is an urgent need to ensure that Apprenticeships achieve better quality and equality. We must widen participation to increase the number of disabled people and minority ethnic people on Apprenticeships, where current participation is shockingly low. There should be the same investment in widening participation for Apprenticeships as there is for Higher Education.
“I have launched a consultation on our Apprentice Charter today. I want to hear from policy-makers, employers, providers and, of course, apprentices themselves about what you think to our proposals. Everyone with a stake in Apprentices is vital to the success of this Charter and therefore the success of the entire Apprenticeship programme which is critical for our future economic well-being.”
NIACE will be holding an expert seminar during Spring 2015 where key individuals from the business community and wider skills sector will be invited to develop the concept further. In the meantime, NIACE welcomes detailed comments on our proposed approach, and ideas of how we can further build on the concept. Please forward comments by 15 April 2015 to: firstname.lastname@example.org