Gordon Marsden MP, Labour's Shadow Business Minister, commenting on the Government’s announcement of a one year minimum duration for all 19 plus apprenticeships, said:
“There have been real concerns that the apprenticeship brand, which has long been cherished as the gold standard in vocational education, is at risk of being undermined with a spike in short-duration apprenticeships, a lack of new opportunities in traditional areas such as construction and engineering and worries that in-work training has often been re-labelled as apprenticeships under the Tory-led Government.
“For months Labour has been putting pressure on the Government to address these issues so we welcome today’s announcement that we have succeeded in getting ministers to change their minds on minimum duration for 19 plus apprenticeships.
“The Government now needs to work closely with all involved in the sector to ensure quality provision can continue and is supported under these new proposals. With more than one million unemployed young people, now more than ever we need an apprenticeship system that can provide opportunities and get people into work.”
Commenting ahead of a BBC Panorama documentary this evening on apprenticeship standards, Gordon Marsden said:
“Any allegations about the quality of apprenticeship provision must be taken very seriously – Labour has long been calling for the government to take action to protect and enhance the apprenticeship brand following concerns on apprenticeship duration, quality and focus. We are clear that apprenticeship standards must not be compromised and the government must investigate in full the concerns raised by Panorama’s investigation.”