The government must give the Institute for Apprenticeships (IfA) the independence and clout it needs to reform and regulate the English skills system, according to a CBI report.
According to the first of a 2019 series of CBI apprenticeship reports, a second wave of government action is now needed to ensure apprenticeships lead to high-skilled and high-paid jobs that fit firms’ needs.
The report urges the government to recognise that the IfA is the main body for vocational skills in England, gifting the ability to hold policymakers and the skills sector to account, and speeding up the apprenticeship standards approval process.
Alongside this, with employer levy funds due to start expiring from April 2019, CBI said the government must also set up an appeals system that gives employers longer to spend money where apprenticeship standards remain in development.
John Cope, head of education and skills policy at CBI, said: “This business-backed blueprint needs to be taken seriously to make sure the English skills system supports, rather than frustrates, employers offering a first step to people in their career. This must include giving the Institute for Apprenticeships the independence and clout it needs to create a world-class skills system in England.
“The Government should be given credit for its commitment to skills reform. What’s clear is that both they and businesses understand the need for high-quality apprenticeships in every sector for our economy to flourish.”