Public sector apprenticeships
The government has announced that over 1,000 apprentices will work in central government departments and agencies this academic year, more than double the original target. It is also calling on public sector organisations such as councils and NHS trusts “to increase apprenticeship numbers during the global downturn”.
The government’s move recognises that the public sector has not kept pace with other employers in offering apprenticeships. The government is also using the power it has through public contracts to ensure that firms benefiting from such contracts train more staff and offer more apprenticeships.
A draft Apprenticeships Bill was published in July 2008 which introduces an entitlement to an apprenticeship place for all school-leavers who meet the entry criteria by 2013.
The TUC has just published its detailed response to the Bill which, while welcoming the intention to expand the numbers of apprenticeships available, identifies a number of weaknesses, including that there should be “greater recognition of the role of joint employer-trade union activity around apprenticeships.”
Full details of the TUC’s response to the draft Apprenticeships Bill are available from its website at: www.tuc.org.uk/skills/tuc-15489-fo.cfm