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Apprenticeships reforms: The government’s vision

1 March 2016

As part of the government’s plans to increase productivity in the UK, there is a major focus on the growth and quality of apprenticeships in England.

Thousands of organisations across the country already count apprenticeships as a crucial part of their strategy for building competent and skilled workforces for the future. The government has made a commitment to getting even more on board, both in terms of employing apprentices, and in shaping the future of apprenticeships.

In December 2015, the government published ‘English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision’. The document outlined its vision for apprenticeships, split into five main categories: Quality, Employers, Supporting routes to apprenticeships and work, The long-term apprenticeships system and Funding.

Here is an outline of the vision:


  • All apprenticeships will provide substantive training in a professional or technical route, transferable skills and competency in English and maths for all ages
  • Apprenticeships will be an attractive offer that young people and adults aspire to go into, as a high quality and prestigious path to a successful career
  • Apprenticeships will be available across all sectors of the economy and at all levels, including degree level
  • Every apprenticeship will be a high quality opportunity that delivers the skills, knowledge and behaviours that employers are looking for


  • Apprenticeships will be widely recognised and respected as a highly effective means for all businesses to build their pipeline of skilled future staff in all parts of the country
  • The new Digital Apprenticeship Service will be simple for employers, particularly smaller businesses, to navigate and use
  • Employers will feel full ownership of apprenticeships, designing and owning the content of all apprenticeship standards and assessments
  • Employers will be the main advocates of apprenticeships among their partners, peers and supply chain

Supporting routes to apprenticeships and work

  • All young people at school will be able to hear from and be inspired by employers and apprentices
  • There will be clear progression routes through technical and professional education and into skilled employment, including apprenticeships
  • Traineeships will support more young people into apprenticeships and sustainable employment
  • Young people from all backgrounds will get the preparation they need to be high quality candidates for apprenticeships

The long-term apprenticeships system

  • The design and delivery of high quality apprenticeships will be overseen by a new, independent and respected quality body – the Institute for Apprenticeships
  • All new apprentices will be trained to meet levels of professional competence set out in employer-designed standards
  • Employers will be confident customers of apprenticeship training programmes, which will be developed by agile training providers to meet the evolving needs of business
  • Employers will have the opportunity to choose between more high quality providers and it will be easier for employers to train their apprentices directly


  • Employers will choose and pay for the apprenticeship training they want through a Digital Apprenticeship Service
  • The funding system will support the commitment to increase the quality and quantity of apprenticeships
  • Funding for apprenticeships will be placed on a sustainable footing through a levy on employers

Read ‘English Apprenticeships: Our 2020 Vision’ here.


If you would like to talk to someone about how the apprenticeship reforms will affect your business, please contact The GC Business Hub on 01452 563403 or email to arrange a meeting.


Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

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