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Government Announces Response to Richard Review

Apprenticeships are to be reformed in order to increase their value for young people and boost employer engagement.

­­The Richard Review, carried out by Doug Richard (the former Dragon’s Den star), was published last November and contained a number of proposals which aimed to encourage employers to take on more apprentices, including a controversial plan to use tax credits as an incentive.

The Government’s response paper, ‘The Future of Apprenticeships in England: Next Steps from the Richard Review’, welcomes the review’s findings and describes the proposals as amounting to a major programme of reform.’ An official consultation, attached to the end of the paper, seeks input from interested parties on how best to implement the review’s recommendations. None of the twenty-four questions directly reference what Mr Richard described as ‘the heart’ of his review, however; the plan to engage employers through tax incentives.

Shadow FE Minister Gordon Marsden was quick to criticise the absence of Mr Richard’s funding reforms, calling the response ‘a fudge…[that] underlines the Government’s disappointing record.’

In a webinar session hosted by FE Week, however, Minister for Skills Mathew Hancock suggested that the government had not entirely ruled out funding via the tax system and that it remained an option for the future.

Commenting on social networking site Twitter, Mr Richard stated that he was happy that the government had responded to his review and that he remained hopeful that they would include his proposals on funding reform.

A copy of the Government paper can be obtained here. The consultation will run until May 22nd.


Mar 15, 2013 12:49 PM