11Lessons and recommendations

Lessons for cities

  • In order to meet the skills requirements of the city, local partners should use up-to-date labour market information and work in collaboration with local employers to ensure that apprenticeships are meeting current and future skills gaps.
  • Financial subsidies can act as a short term incentive for employers to engage in the apprenticeship system who may not otherwise have done so.
  • External partners such as LEPs can be effective in playing a brokerage role between training providers and employers.
  • Larger firms or groups of firms with specific training needs can work together to develop training programmes either with external training providers or internally.
  • Local partners can provide additional support in administration, human resources and financial management to help small and medium sized employers to take on apprentices where they otherwise may have been unable to do so.
  • Marketing campaigns and business to business approaches based on personal networks can help make the case for apprenticeships to employers.
  • Encouraging takeup of apprenticeships within professional service industries will require clearer progression routes from school into apprenticeships, and the use of high profile examples of apprenticeships can be a valuable employee recruitment strategies for professional service employers.
  • Supporting direct intervention into schools to support information, careers advice and guidance can have a positive effect on increasing the takeup of apprenticeships.
  • Work readiness training such as pre-apprenticeships before beginning an apprenticeship is valuable both to apprentices, in building up skills and qualifications and reducing youth unemployment, and to employers, in supporting a pipeline of work-ready apprentices.

Lessons for national government

The apprenticeship system is nationally led, and there are things that central Government should do in order to assist local places in making the best of apprenticeships:

  • Encourage and support the evaluation of the changing apprenticeship system, particularly the levy, in order to improve understanding of the impact these changes will have on quality and quantity, and awareness and behaviour in different places.
  • Provide timely, up-to-date and clear information on the changes in the apprenticeship system in order to help local partners to respond effectively.