News roundup

This
months news roundup

Pressure
to lift age bar on MA scheme

Engineering
employers want the Government to lift the age bar on Modern Apprenticeships in
line with training policy in Scotland.

Earlier
this year, the Scottish Executive said that it wanted to offer Modern
Apprenticeships to people “in their late 20s, 30s, even their 50s who want to
learn new, transferable skills”.

Now
the engineering national training organisation Emta wants a senior government
committee to recommend an end to the age bar in England.

“Funding
is considerably lower for people aged 19-plus. We want to see the age limit
scrapped, but particularly this partial age barrier of 19,” said Sue Peacock,
Emta’s head of research and development.

The
NTO National Council also wants age limits scrapped. “It’s an artificial
divide,” said Adrian Anderson, head of policy and development. He also called
on the Government to follow the example of Wales, which has introduced an adult
skills diploma.

However,
the DfEE says it will continue to focus on 16- to 18-year-olds. A spokesman
said it had no intention of offering apprenticeships to over-25s.

Peacock’s
plea came as the Government announced the membership of its Modern
Apprenticeships Advisory Committee. Headed by Sir John Cassels, the committee
is set to have greater powers than the training industry first envisaged. The
committee has been charged with drawing up a three-year action plan to develop,
promote and deliver MAs.

It
has also been asked for ideas on replacing work-based training not covered by
apprenticeships. This includes provision for young people who are not yet
capable of working towards a foundation modern apprenticeship or NVQ Level 2.

Quality
fears for managers

The
UK’s managers are not equipped with the right skills. And problems are
compounded by the fact that no one is extrapolating from future trends to
present-day provision.

These
are the warnings from the adviser to the Council for Excellence in Management
and Leadership, Liz Amos, who estimates that by 2006 the number of people
obtaining formal management qualifications will be inadequate.

“A
number of forecasts suggest that the UK is not creating and developing enough
managers and leaders to meet current and future demand,” she told the recent
NEBS 2001 Research Conference.

Amos
also criticised the lack of leadership opportunities in organisations, which
her government-backed body is trying to overcome by developing a “superhighway
to better connect people and organisations to management and leadership
development opportunities,” she said.

TD20001
Award in second phase

The
second stage of Training magazine’s TD2001 Award is under way, with judges
poring over the entries.

“We
have had a terrific response,” said Training magazine editor Stephanie Sparrow.
“We are pleased by the breadth of organisations that have entered, both from the
public and private sectors.”

A
shortlist of entries will appear in the June edition of Training magazine and
the results will be announced at the Training Solutions Show on 27 June at the
NEC Birmingham.

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