Central YMCA appears before the Education Select Committee

18 April 2018

Our Group Education and Skills Director, Andrée Deane-Barron appeared before the House of Common's Education Select Committee yesterday in order to give evidence to the Committee's inquiry into the quality of apprenticeships and skills training.

The quality of apprenticeships and skills training inquiry seeks to establish whether employers, learners and taxpayers are getting value for the time and money invested in training and whether more needs to be done to detect poor-quality provision. 

During the session, Andrée was able to make a number of important contributions, including several which have been reported on by major national media outlets, such as TES.

Some of the points raised by Andrée on behalf of Central YMCA included:

  • Issues with the benefits system, whereby learners are often discouraged from taking an apprenticeship due to either themselves or their parents losing entitlement to state support.
  • The Baker Clause not being implemented fully, with some schools 'cherry-picking' which students can receive careers advice from FE institutions.
  • The need for the Government to implement its promised measures to reduce learner travel costs, which would be especially beneficial for those in rural areas or on Study Programmes, given the importance of face-to-face tuition.
  • The low levels of funding for some frameworks and standards, including health and social care.
  • Some elements of external quality assurance "falling through the cracks" between quality assurance bodies. Andrée said she agreed with a recommendation form think tank Reform for the only end-point assessment quality assurance mechanism to be Ofqual.

The Committee also heard from Mark Dawe, Chief Executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers and Petra Wilton, Director of Strategy and External Affairs at the Chartered Management Institute. 

This was expected to be the last oral evidence session of the inquiry into the quality of apprenticeships and skills training before the Education Committee publishes its final report, in which it will make recommendations to the Government about how it can improve provision. It was, therefore, a fantastic opportunity for Central YMCA to influence policy-makers and ensure our voice is heard.

If you would like to know more about our public policy asks, they are outlined in our Transforming Education manifesto.