Dont have an account?Sign up here
28 November 2012
Apprenticeships should be of high quality and lead to 'real jobs', Unite, the country's largest union, has said.
Sub-standard apprenticeships, which result in young people subsidising their own employment, should be rooted out as a matter of urgency.
Unite was welcoming many of the recommendations set out in the publication of the Richard Review on apprenticeships.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: "We welcome many of the review's findings in regard to high quality apprenticeships, notably on advanced level three and higher provisions.
“We also welcome the review's conclusions that a real apprenticeship requires a real job and real employment, underpinned by work-based learning and education. They must benefit the apprentice, employers, industry and society as a whole.
"We welcome the need to root out poor quality, short-term apprenticeships that only benefit the provider.
“We want to see the end of these quick fixes that do nothing to build up a strong foundation of apprenticeships across all sectors of industry and commerce.
"However, Unite believes that the review failed to address how public procurement policy can be best used as a driver to increase the uptake of apprenticeships.
“Unite also wanted to see a much-wider overhaul of the national apprenticeship structures, so they come much more into line with the streamlined European models.
“We are also concerned at the concept of “maintenance loans” to apprentices on low wages, in order to sustain their living costs, while in training.
“Unite is opposed to any notion that apprentices subsidise their own employment.
“We are also concerned that the positive role unions can and do play was not sufficiently acknowledged in the review.
“However, we will look at the detail in the report and how it could impact on existing training and apprenticeship agreements in the sectors where Unite has members."