Principal welcomes new law to promote apprenticeship equality

Angela_JoyceAngela Joyce, Warwickshire College Group Principal and CEO, has welcomed the Government’s legislation to end what Education Secretary Nicky Morgan calls an ‘outdated snobbery’ towards apprenticeships and the need for independent careers advice in schools.

The announcement this week from laid out the details of the new  legislation which will ensure that schools give equal airtime to the non-academic routes pupils can take post-16, under government plans to end the ‘second class’ perception of technical and professional education (TPE).

The new law would also see apprenticeship providers and staff from colleges visit schools as part of careers advice from early secondary school, to talk to pupils about the opportunities open to them through apprenticeships or other TPE routes.

The move follows concerns from Ministers about careers advice, with some schools currently unwilling to recommend apprenticeships or other technical  and professional routes to any but the lowest- achieving pupils – effectively creating a two tiered system of careers advice.

Angela Joyce said, “We welcome this new legislation which will help young people make an informed choice about their future, whether it’s A-levels, technical and professional courses or apprenticeships.

“We have a great relationship with the majority of schools in our area but this will mean we can work together with even more to ensure that our young people understand all of their options and can make the right decision for their career ambitions.

“With the government pledging to deliver 3 million new apprenticeships by 2020, they are a vital part of our national economy, and as one of the leading providers of apprenticeships in the West Midlands, we know that they are not a ‘second best’ option. In many cases, our apprentices are getting a head start on their counterparts who have chosen the university route as they benefit from experience in the workplace, a salary and no student debt.

Our apprentices have often secured an apprenticeship in a company through a competitive process and then achieve high level qualifications, including degrees, and on this basis we must ensure young people are aware of the apprenticeship pathway and celebrate their success in the same way as we do for those who have gained a degree.”

Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said: “As part of our commitment to extend opportunity to all young people, we want to level the playing field – making sure they are aware of all the options open to them and are able to make the right choice for them.

“For many young people going to university will be the right choice, and we are committed to continuing to expand access to Higher Education, but for other young people the technical education provided by apprenticeships will suit them better.

“That’s why I’m determined to tackle the minority of schools that perpetuate an outdated snobbery towards apprenticeships by requiring those schools to give young people the chance to hear about the fantastic opportunities apprenticeships and technical education offer.”

For more information about apprenticeships, go to www.warwickshire.ac.uk/apprenticeships or call 0300 456 0046.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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