I read with frustration the article on a new apprentice sharing scheme (‘Apprentice sharing scheme to be available in next 12 months’, Personnel Today, 20 January). The fact that more money is going to be diverted into yet another government quango is, quite frankly infuriating.
Because many government initiatives are poorly thought through, and even more poorly implemented, the vast amount of money allocated never reaches the proposed beneficiary.
Why can’t this initiative be overseen by local education authorities or the proposed new Skills Funding Agency, or any government organisation that already exists? Why do we need yet another new body to further confuse already confused employers?
In addition, the report calls for employers to create their own training associations. Where on earth have these people been? Group Training Associations already exist, but successive governments have gradually strangled the funding streams to them in favour of further education colleges to the point where many have struggled to survive.
If civil servants are going to publish reports like these, the least we can expect is that they do their research thoroughly. It also appears that once produced, no-one actually questions the findings (I think a similar thing happened with the Leitch Review and we are only now seeing the fall-out).
Given all of this I would suggest the report is not worth the paper it is printed on. However, I have no doubt that vast amounts of public money will still be spent on this initiative with no tangible return.
Brian Marshall, details supplied