A new report has stated that the Government’s apprenticeship programme needs urgent reforms if it is to succeed.

Doug Richard, entrepreneur, educator and founder of School for Startups, said the quality of apprenticeships needed improving to deliver the skills and qualifications of “tangible value” to workers and employers.

The report stated that employers and other organisations with relevant industry expertise should be invited to design and develop new apprenticeship qualifications for their sectors.

He also recommended the introduction of a new work-based programme to support entry into employment, to replace Level 2 apprenticeships.

The report went on to suggest that apprenticeships should be redefined, with one qualification for each occupation, while everyone on a programme should reach a good level in English and Maths.

Doug Richard commented:

“With the myriad of learning experiences which are currently labelled as apprenticeships, we risk losing sight of the core features of what makes apprenticeships work.

“My conclusion is that we need to look again at what it means to be an apprentice and what it means to offer an apprenticeship as an employer.

“Apprenticeships need to be high quality training with serious kudos and tangible value both to the apprentice and the employer.”

In response to the report, Neil Carberry, CBI Director for Employment and Skills policy, said:

“Business will welcome this report. We agree that apprenticeships should be a route to a great career. They also ensure business builds the right skills to drive economic growth.

“Businesses are best placed to understand their own training needs, so it’s right that employers should have a greater say in apprenticeship design and which training is funded. By putting employers in the driving seat, we can ensure that government funding for training is more closely aligned with the needs of industry and future job creation.

“To make sure that all firms can access the training they need, it’s rightly recognised that we need a simple, accessible funding system, and businesses will welcome the idea of a skills tax credit.”