The skills minister, Anne Milton, has told the Institute for Apprenticeships to get ‘faster and better’ at approving apprenticeship standards. The request appeared in a document called ‘strategic guidance to the Institute for Apprenticeships’.
Under the priorities for 2018/19, in the section for ‘continuous improvement’ the skills minister suggests she ‘…would like to see further improvements following the implementation of your Faster and Better programme, particularly in reducing the time it takes to approve apprenticeships standards.’
She also believes that providing a ‘…positive and timely response to employers and apprentices…’ should be considered a priority, as well as working with ‘…End Point Assessment Organisations to encourage their continuous improvement in both the design and delivery of end-point assessment.’
Under the section ‘supporting Government’s strategic priorities’ Ms Milton suggests that ‘it will be important for you to prioritise standards so that they reflect the needs of the wider economy and fill key skills gaps…’ and she would ‘…like your funding band recommendations to maximise the value for money of apprenticeships, and consider the overall affordability of the apprenticeships programme and the Government’s 3 million starts manifesto commitment.’
The apprenticeship standards, which are being developed by groups of employers, are gradually replacing the old frameworks. Each contain a list of the skills and knowledge an apprentice will need to have learned by the end of their apprenticeship.