Welsh apprenticeships’ future

Improve stature of Welsh apprenticeships, CILEx tells Welsh Government

24 April 2015

Vicky PurtillThe Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx), the body that provides vocational and apprenticeship routes into the legal profession in England and Wales, has called on the Welsh Government for greater progression and transferability of Welsh apprenticeships.

With education as a devolved power, the Welsh Government have been undertaking a consultation on aligning their apprenticeship model to meet the needs of the Welsh economy.

Responding to the consultation, CILEx argues that apprenticeship routes continue to be viewed as inferior to obtaining a degree by parents and individuals making choices for post-school education and training.

CILEx has recommended a series of measures be adopted to help ensure parity of esteem. These include:

  • Keeping entry-level apprenticeships (set at Level 2) as an option for some apprentices and businesses for whom they will be desirable and fit-for-purpose.
  • Guaranteeing that redesigned entry-level apprenticeships avoid over-specialisation too early on to maintain flexibility, provide clear routes of progression to further study, whilst offering sufficient knowledge and skills to act as stand-alone qualifications.
  • Introducing measures to value apprenticeships to third parties, such as offering UCAS points, or exemptions for higher education study.
  • Including end point assessments that grade apprentices on their competence for the job role, as well as interim qualifications through an apprenticeship to ensure apprentices meet the necessary standards to be able to sit an end point assessment.
  • Re-evaluating whether Welsh apprenticeships should continue to sit on the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) which requires each assessment criterion to be individually tested, but no final test on overall competence for the role.
  • Funding qualifications designed in consultation with employers that meet the needs of the job role, whether or not they meet QCF requirements.
  • Establishing employer-panels to advise on design and content of apprenticeships, whilst ensuring larger employers are not overrepresented at the expense of smaller or medium-sized employers.

Vicky Purtill, CILEx head of qualifications, said: “The principle to maintain is that apprenticeships be about increasing opportunities, not reducing them. Many of the proposals outlined by the Welsh Government are to be welcomed, though we risk seeing England and Wales drift apart in the nature and scope of apprenticeships on offer. We are eager to work with the Welsh Government to ensure businesses, apprentices and the public are all served by high quality and fit-for-purpose apprenticeships.”

You can read the full response here.