The Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee met on 27th March to take further evidence on apprenticeships.
Evidence was heard from Stephen Uden, Head of Skills and Economic Affairs at Microsoft UK, Ray Wilson, Director and General Manager at Carillion Training Services, Justin Owens, Human Resources Manager at Robinson Brothers Ltd and Alex Khan, Managing Director, Education and Training at Babcock International Group.
The Committee’s Chair opened by asking the witnesses about the importance of the apprenticeship brand remaining strong. Mr Uden stated that it must be strong in order to be credible as an alternative educational route to a degree. Mr Kahn believes that it is critically important, but that the skills and qualifications which make up an apprenticeship are as important.
Margot James asked if the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) is delivering a dedicated, responsive service for both employers and learners. The witnesses were pleased with the service of NAS, although Mr Owens commented that Robinson Brothers is partnered with a local training organisation rather than NAS.
Margot also asked how the witnesses measure the success of their apprenticeship programmes. Mr Wilson said that success is the attainment of a full framework and then moving into employment. Mr Uden added that completion rate is important, as well as social mobility and diversity on apprenticeship programmes.