Current Affairs

Positive aspects in Richard Review recommendations, says People First

People 1st has welcomed many of the recommendations contained in the Richard Review, recently released as part of the government’s enquiry into the future of English apprenticeships.

The review, which was carried out by entrepreneur Doug Richard, received employer submissions from across all sectors of the economy, including hospitality, and People 1st – the sector skills council for the hospitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism industries – said it echoes a lot of their own findings.

People 1st worked with 50 employers from across the hospitality industry to develop a submission for the review consultation that took place over the summer.

Ruth Asker-Browne, who led the employer consultation, said: “The review covers many of the points our industry employers made in the submission, including the importance of apprenticeships having a clearly defined identity and clear career pathways for staff.”

“We know from our submission that the review’s emphasis on pre-employment and pre-apprenticeship training will be highly valued by employers – employers both want and need such programmes to ensure they have work-ready staff.”

She added: “Employers also said that providing government funding to support vocational training other than apprenticeships would be more than welcome, as this is currently tied so closely to apprenticeships that many organisations feel compelled to take this route.”

Ruth did, however, have some reservations about admissions in the report, having issue with “the recommendation that apprenticeships should only be offered for new job roles,” adding, “the interpretation and implementation of this will make a big difference.”

Ruth also said that there would be some concern around the possible requirement to offer off-site learning, given the flexible hours operated by the industry.

“While off-site learning is recognised as best practice, the practicalities can be more difficult, especially for small employers who only have one apprentice.

“We would also raise concerns about the strong emphasis on an exam or test as the final form of assessment at the end of the apprenticeship.”

Overall Ruth said that she was positive about the recommendations in the review. “Doug Richard was clear that the recommendations are interlinked and should be accepted as a whole, and that could potentially have a significant impact on our industry.

“The recommendations in general, however, do reflect what’s happening in the industry, although, of course, we await how they are implemented,” she concluded.

“Naturally, we are keen to work with both the government and employers – particularly smaller businesses – to help them prepare for any changes that arise from recommendations made in this review.”

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