Lady Cobham CBE, Director General of The 5% Club, responds to the government’s announcement of 12 ‘Institutes of Technology’
“The 5% Club welcomes the government’s announcement of 12 ‘Institutes of Technology’ in England. Providing young people with vocational alternatives to university is a key part of the push for a parity of esteem between traditional and vocational systems. Apprenticeships should no longer be seen as ‘second best’ or as a less-prestigious route into employment.
However, the new ‘Institutes of Technology’’ should not be seen as a ‘silver bullet’ for the growing skills crisis. With Brexit looming, businesses must encourage ‘home grown’ talent to fill existing skills gaps if we are to be able to compete on a global level. Apprenticeships are a vital way to fill these skills gaps.
The Government needs to allow businesses to fund travel for young people to get to apprenticeship opportunities, like these new institutes, in all parts of the country through its Apprenticeships Levy. It needs to broaden the types of high-quality technical training employers can invest in using the levy. And it needs to make it simpler to apply for apprenticeship schemes by introducing a UCAS-style scheme.
Only then can the UK deliver the huge number of apprenticeships which young people and the UK economy needs.”