After a surprising result on all accounts in this month’s General Election, 3aaa Apprenticeships Director of Policy and Strategy, Stewart Segal gives us insight into the facts, his opinion and predictions for the education sector regarding the outcome.
Stewart starts his update by talking about the reappointment of Justine Greening as the Secretary of State for Education. He explains how we are thankful not to have a new appointment who would have to go through the learning curve of how Apprenticeships and other education sectors are managed.
His next point explained that the minister that covered Apprenticeships, Robert Halfon, has been replaced after a year in the job. As of the date of the video, a new minister hasn’t been employed, however Stewart predicts that the MP for Guilford, Anne Milton, will be employed in the coming weeks. She hasn’t been involved with skills for the Government before so she will have to go through the learning process and pick up what is a challenging agenda if she ends up filling the roll.
Regardless of who fills this role, Stewart would like to express two clear points. One, he explains the need to support 16-19 year olds in new jobs, which is certainly a big factor here at 3aaa Apprenticeships, but he adds the Government should look to add additional support in the future. Stewart’s second point was that the new minister should make a commitment to ensure, where the funds are available, to focus them on getting people into work as well as investing on current businesses to increase their productivity.
In the manifesto, the target for 3 million working Apprentices by 2020 is still there, which is very pleasing. However, this will require them to make minimal changes going forward as this plan is already in action. Stewart calls for a strong commitment from the new minister, towards the Apprenticeship Levy which only came into play in May of this year. We hope to see a steady approach to carry out the changes made earlier this year.
SMEs (small and medium sized enterprises) are the driving force in terms of productivity improvements and growth for the UK economy. Therefore, we believe it is important that Apprenticeship programmes, which are now paid for by levy payers, also supports the needs of non-levy paying SMEs.
It is ever more important that as we move into the negotiation period for the exit from Europe, we focus on the skills we have available in this country and what skills we wish to encourage. Inevitably there will be an element of change as we go through this process, however we expect the utmost focus on Apprenticeships.
Here at 3aaa Apprenticeships, we are now working with a wide range of employers who are new to Apprenticeships, as well as those we have worked with for years. Therefore, we hope to get the opportunity to make these programmes work and are preparing our training approach for what the new Government may bring to the UK.