YMCA Training apprentices take part in parliamentary focus group

Two YMCA Apprentices were invited to contribute to a parliamentary inquiry into Further Education access and progression
16 November 2017

On Monday 30th October, two of YMCA Training’s apprentices were invited by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Skills and Employment to take part in a focus group in parliament.

Kyle and Danielle are studying at YMCA Training’s Doncaster centre and both carry out their apprenticeship training at legal firm QualitySolicitors Jordans in Doncaster city centre.

In their evidence, Kyle and Danielle were able to contribute to the APPG’s investigations into apprenticeship funding and provision and were asked a number of questions about their Further Education (FE) experience.

Amongst key points raised were issues both Kyle and Danielle had faced regarding transport costs and ring-fenced study time, and both had many suggestions for how apprenticeships could be reformed and improved.

In addition to the evidence session, the pair were also given a tour of the historic Palace of Westminster and were able to learn about the parliamentary process by seeing first-hand how MPs and Lords make the laws that govern us.

Speaking after the trip, Kyle said:

“The trip down to London to take part in the focus group was a great opportunity, discussing the different paths people took to get where they are and the issues that were brought up has given me a real insight into the benefits and problems that surround apprenticeships, how they can affect whether or not people apply for them and how we can maybe tackle such issues”.

Kyle and Danielle, as apprentices studying and working under the newly reformed apprenticeship system, were able to offer a perspective on FE that many do not have. It was therefore very encouraging to see the APPG for Skills and Employment seek out their views and listen so attentively to their concerns. 

YMCA Training has recently submitted evidence of our own to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee Inquiry into Higher Education, Further Education, and Vocational Training, including seven calls to action that we believe could transform FE provision. We also produced a manifesto of asks over the 2017 General Election period and have lobbied extensively over the reform period to ensure the apprenticeship system is as good as it can be.

We plan to continue to give our insights to policy-makers regarding how best to ensure that FE works for young people, and hope that those driving reforms continue to seek out the views of young people who have experienced how the apprenticeship reform system is working in practice.