By Claire West

Commenting on the Richard Review of apprenticeships, John Walker, National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses, said:

“We warmly welcome the Richard Review and the direction of the recommendations.

In our recent report on apprenticeships, we called for many similar actions to be taken to improve the quality of apprenticeships. We are particularly pleased that Richard has identified the need for a clear definition of what an apprenticeship is. We believe this will improve the brand image and give a clearer perception of what the apprentice and employer will get.

“Furthermore, with two thirds of FSB members saying that improving basic literacy and numeracy skills would better prepare young people for work in a small business, it is good news there is a focus on improving maths and English. This, combined with employers being able to draw down the funding will improve both relevance and quality.

“It is now key that the findings of this review, the Holt review and the BIS select committee are considered as a whole by Government and for a single combined response published that considers the whole landscape. Ad hoc changes cannot continue to be made. Future changes must be strategic and create a system for the long-term.”