Report

For a World-Class Apprenticeships

This paper looks at the rising tide of interest in apprenticeship reform globally.Following the ‘Great Recession’ of 2008, many nations are seeking to tackle the adverse effects of youth unemployment and middle class wage stagnation by
creating better employment opportunities, uprating human capital, and reforming technical and vocational training systems. Reform is particularly evident in countries that are expanding apprenticeship models – not least as a means
of repairing the ‘broken bridge’ between school and workforce transitions.

This paper is a part a a reflection of a roundtable discussion of a transatlantic apprenticeship experts that took place in October 2014, as well as an online survey of a wider group that included employers. The dialogue focussed on
the underlying drivers of global apprenticeship reform and whether there was any merit in the idea of developing an international apprenticeship standard. In addition to the roundtable discussion, the paper also explores the controversial issue of university expansion and rising levels of student debt in the UK and USA. When juxtaposed with evidence of wage stagnation and declining productivity in some sectors, the paper asks whether it is time to rebalance taxpayer resources away from investing in traditional three and four-year degree courses and into more work-based models of training, like apprenticeship.

To achieve these aims some further consideration of the internationalisation of apprenticeship may be required. The group concluded that a globally accredited standard has the potential to aid mobility and boost the value of apprenticeship for individuals and multi-national companies involved in providing them. It is anticipated that the next stage of the World Class Apprenticeships initiative will be in 2015. The group will work closely with INSSO and City & Guilds to pilot the key components of a globally accredited apprenticeship model, including providing some international placement opportunities.

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Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor. Read the whole story at  World-class apprenticeships: are they the answer to the age of stagnation?

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