Policy

The Boris ‘Guarantee’- It’s a Positive Commitment – But is it as easy as it Sounds?

First of all, let’s applaud the PM on his comments yesterday about the impact of COVID-19 on young people and their prospects for the future. As an Eton Scholar it would have been easy for him to stay silent, or even worse push them into the empty buildings of many Universities in the summer of 2020.

The fact there is recognition of the issues is an important one in itself. 

But now let us un pick the moment and look at how this can be made to happen. Promote-ed is about positivity. You won’t see us being negative about the announcement but working through the implications and the way forward. It doesn’t need another 5 point plan of joined up ness.

Firstly, an Apprentice is defined in legislation and must be employed – we moved away from programme led apprenticeships in 2010. There will not be enough employers to employ Apprentices, not just through cost, but the time it takes to support them, so any ‘guarantee’ will really need to come with a change in the legislative framework unless of course, the Government are going to underwrite the wage costs of Apprentices in the next 2 years – a recommendation made by promote-ed to the Minister only 4 weeks ago.

‘So let’s all push for the simplest solution – Wage Subsidy For All 16 – 21 Year Old Apprentices, Funded by levy employers through their levy underspends and for non-levy through the massive underspend on the non-levy budget – A cost of £2bn over a 2 year period is nothing compared with the negative impact this will have on Society if young people will not be able to become economically active.’

For the more creative amongst us, an extension of Traineeships could help also but must come with a removal of the un-necessary barriers to entry for providers – I have witnessed in recent weeks a surge in the number of opportunities for Traineeships but providers not being able to access sufficient funding or indeed have the ability to deliver – a relaxation of the ROTO / ROATP requirements and a focus on funding traineeships will provide a real boost – after all, over 50% create positive destinations – likely to be greater than the achievement rates for Apprenticeships in the next few years.

And finally, T Levels – or T Level + as I will term it – remove the confusion that employers will find, create something clear and an enhanced T Level+ will find its way into the toolkit for providers to support young people. 

So let’s rejoice the Boris ‘Guarantee’ and lets help the regulators come up with something that is simple, effective and gets to help young people now – we enter the peak season for Apprenticeship recruitment, let’s avoid a generation lost.

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