Skills: Farry Outlines Blueprint For Apprenticeships
Employment and Learning Minister, Dr Stephen Farry has outlined a blueprint for the future of apprenticeships in Northern Ireland and opened a consultation on 32 recommendations on taking Apprenticeships forward in a new economy.
Key proposals contained within the consultation include: • An apprenticeship will commence at professional and technical level 3 (equivalent to A Level) or higher and will last for a minimum duration of two years. • Apprenticeships will be possible at any level through to Level 8 (equivalent to Doctoral Degrees). • An apprenticeship will involve a breadth of training beyond the specific needs of a particular job through on and off the job training. Employers and industry specialists, in partnership with other key stakeholders, will inform the content, duration and assessment of each apprenticeship, including test(s) at the end of the training period. • A range of incentives will be considered to support employers, particularly SMEs and micro businesses, to increase participation in apprenticeships. • A central support service will be introduced to promote and support apprenticeship provision, by engaging with employers and potential participants providing advice and guidance for employers and potential apprentices on the range of support and training available. • An apprenticeship will be designed to enable individuals to progress into higher professional or technical training or onto a higher academic pathway including to higher level apprenticeships and to further and higher education. They will include opportunities for international placements and exchanges to support the apprentice’s professional and personal development. • Application for apprenticeship places will be supported via a UCAS (as used for entrance to university) style portal, to inform young people of the range of opportunities available. • Apprenticeships will be expanded to include professional and technical occupations within the public sector. • Apprenticeship awards and qualifications will facilitate portability within a sector and mobility within the wider economy.
The Minister said: “Most fundamental of all the proposals is the key role employers will play in the future apprenticeship model. They will be placed in the driving seat to inform future demand and content in partnership with other important stakeholders. “The proposals will ensure that apprenticeships will be held in equally high esteem as the higher education pathway. In essence, quality, breadth, progression and portability will form the blue print of Northern Ireland’s apprenticeships of the future, delivering skills excellence, recognised both nationally and internationally as the gold standard, with apprentices commanding commensurate salaries upon successful completion."
Information on the link below. The consultation period will close on 7 April 2014.