Workplace trainers say government is keeping apprentices from full-time work

Place of work education vendors in England have accused the government of protecting against an approximated sixty two,000 apprentices from having up full-time work by refusing to loosen up the procedures for the maths and English exams desired to qualify.

The Affiliation of Employment and Learning Companies, the market trade overall body, claimed the Section for Education and learning has unsuccessful to act irrespective of recurring warnings that restrictions imposed throughout pandemic had been resulting in a logjam, with companies suffering abilities shortages as a final result.

Apprentices are not able to sit their remaining exams due to the fact the government has refused to loosen up the coverage that they really should be examined at their area of operate by external invigilators, who are prevented from attending due to the fact of coronavirus restrictions.

“AELP has been lobbying the abilities minister Gillian Keegan for months on this challenge,” managing director Jane Hickie claimed. “She acknowledges there is an challenge now but we continue to haven’t arrived at a alternative. If we had been speaking about GCSEs and A ranges, motion would have been taken.”

The trade overall body estimate of the backlog, primarily based on a study of its 600 users, is pretty much four times increased than the hottest formal government information, which the FT attained by means of a Liberty of Info ask for.

The DfE place the amount of apprenticeships “past their stop date” in November at sixteen,four hundred but claimed not all of these had been due to the fact of trainees being not able to full their maths and English exams, acknowledged as useful skill qualification assessments or FSQs.

It claimed it had responded to the problem with a amount of actions, together with extending the window in which apprentices could sit the examination and suspending some necessities. “Where useful abilities qualification assessments have been disrupted we released many flexibilities to relieve some of the fast time pressures together with extending the dates for legacy FSQs until eventually 31 July,” the DfE claimed in a statement.

Ms Hickie claimed she was “staggered” that the government was continue to insisting on workplace screening when they are possibly closed or external visitors, these as invigilators, are not permitted in, incorporating: “Does it hear to the chief healthcare officer?”

The AELP and other training bodies have supplied possibilities to obvious the apprentice backlog, together with assessments equivalent to these permitted for GCSE and A stage students previous 12 months.

City & Guilds, which supplies vocational evaluation and accreditation for apprenticeships, is currently running trials for distant screening and has just lately opened 3 screening centres in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

David Phillips, City & Guilds managing director, claimed that irrespective of endeavours by the more training sector to operate with the government and regulator the backlog was continuing to grow. “Despite all of these interventions, tens of 1000’s of learners have been not able to full their useful abilities skills since the pandemic commenced, with this amount growing all the time.”

Employers have complained of abilities shortages as a final result of being not able to release apprentices into work unsupervised due to the fact they have not accomplished their education.

Sam Morris, the finding out and growth supervisor at House from House Treatment, a treatment home network for adults with finding out issues primarily based in Lincolnshire, claimed the organization has 63 apprentices on a payroll of about four hundred.

These trainees array from people today education to be treatment personnel to these searching to transfer up to supervisor roles. About thirty for each cent of them need to full their maths and English exams.

“It is inhibiting their progress,” Mr Morris claimed. “Testing maths and English abilities is not anything you can do remotely. You need somebody searching you in the eye.”

He additional that devoid of more skilled team, the company’s plans to broaden its operations have been held back.