Employers are calling on Learning and Skills Councils to
take their needs into account if they want to up the number of Modern
As part of broad-brush reforms to Modern Apprenticeships,
the Government wants to guarantee a training place for all who qualify. This
will mean expanding the scheme by up to a third over three years.
But Keith Donnelly, general manager of craft training at
building firm Carillion, said the Government could only guarantee these places
if enough employers took part. "If there is a down-turn, firms like ours,
which has been training apprentices for 30 years, could decide that they can no
longer afford it," he said.
Tony Longmire, technical and training director at LGH Group,
which takes on six apprentices each year, said local officials positively
discouraged employers from getting involved. "It’s like a secret society,
and we only get information by default," he said.
Steven Donnelly, HR manager for Smurfit Print UK, agreed.
"We have done a lot of work on Modern Apprenticeships and had a lot of
success, but it has taken blood, sweat and tears along the way," he said.
"I’ve banged on so many doors, but no one has ever come to me to see how
things are going."