Home Group, a provider of social housing and employer of apprentices, says it is “100% behind the government” on increasing the minimum length of apprenticeships to 12 months.
Rosemary Du Rose, Home Group executive director of customer service, says: “Apprenticeships must be meaningful and this represents a level of commitment to keep people within an organisation for a significant period of time.”
As reported by recruiter.co.uk in February, Home Group and its contractors have committed to creating over 200 new apprenticeships.
Under the new rules, all apprenticeships must last over 12 months, with the exception being for those aged 19 and over who have relevant prior learning or attainment.
Skills minister John Hayes says: “We must be relentless in our drive to ensure all apprenticeships are as good as the best, to identify and root out any instances of poor quality provision, and to raise the bar on standards.”
David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS), adds: “A clear expectation has been set that an apprenticeship involves a significant amount of new learning delivered over sufficient time to practice and master skills in employment.” Du Rose continues: “It is important though that there is a commitment by employers on substance as well as duration.
“Home Group is offering apprenticeships in everything from customer service through to technical roles such as trainee surveyors. We are adamant that each one is underpinned by a commitment to give people the skills either to work here full time after they complete their apprenticeship or with other employers who recognise that their skills set has been developed by a national housing provider.”
“It is important that we don’t see this as a one-way commitment. While employers have a responsibility to make an apprenticeship meaningful, the apprentice has to recognise that they also need to perform well throughout their training.”
Today also marks the opening for business of Nick Clegg’s £1bn Youth Contract, which includes a wage subsidy for every 18-24-year-old employed from the government’s Work Programme, as previously detailed by recruiter.co.uk.