Sunday, 26 April 2009

Redundant apprentices

If an Apprenticeship is your chosen route for post-16 education and you are made redundant, where does that leave your qualifications and preparations for life and work? It isn’t a question which had occurred to me until this week when I attended a Government briefing on its 14-19 reforms at the Grimsby Institute of FE and HE where I’m a Governor.

It was the question I asked the briefers when they told us both that those who are not in work at the end of Apprenticeships do not gain the relevant qualifications and that the Government offered six months support where there is redundancy. One of the tutors chipped in after me to say that she had some students who are in exactly this position this week and she doesn’t have any funding to continue to provide the training element attached to their work. The Government plan is that by 2020 1 in 5 young people will be apprentices, so getting this right really matters.

The briefers promised an e-mail answer from the Government Department ‘within a fortnight’; I’ll try to wait with some hope for this, although when I was the independent Chair of the Local Authority’s 14-19 Strategy Group we wrote to the Government about some apparent contradictions in its policy mentioning an aspect of the Academy programme as one example and the reply gave no evidence of having read our question but instead told us what was good about the Academy programme.

Meanwhile, here is the whole of the magnificent south door at Middle Rasen (a detail of which I posted earlier in the week following our local Jenkins bagging trip on Saturday). Jenkins calls it ‘the most monumental Norman doorway in Lincolnshire, though not as the guide states "in the country"’ (but that isn’t actually quite what the guide book claims - so we couldn’t decide whether he subtlety misquotes the guide or whether its text had been amended to take account of his gentle stricture).

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