Dr Hilary Steedman has been engaged in research on apprenticeships, vocational training and labour market transitions since the early 1980s. Here she writes on the priorities for the new Institute for Apprenticeships.
In the past five years over two million individuals of working age have started an apprenticeship. Their life chances depend upon the quality and transferability of the skills standards that provide the structure for learning in apprenticeship.
Thousands of workplaces and facilitators are involved in delivering the skills embodied in apprenticeship skills standards. Effective governance is needed to ensure that, wherever the apprenticeship is provided, recognised skills and relevant knowledge have been developed and reliably assessed. This is a challenging and complex task requiring understanding of the perspectives of all the main actors - apprentices, business and the public interest.