Tesco and Sainsbury’s are among several retailers helping the government to cut red tape when it comes to offering apprenticeships, it has emerged.
HR directors from the supermarket giants have been advising skills secretary John Denham on how to axe bureaucracy in the skills system, to encourage more employers to start offering apprenticeship schemes. This included scrapping monthly reporting requirements, removing demands to store paperwork for up to six years, and ditching multiple inspection visits.
Last month the draft Apprenticeships Bill vowed to make it easier for employers to offer the in-house training schemes to their staff. Denham wants every suitable school leaver to have the right to start an apprenticeship – one in five young people by 2020 – but admitted to Personnel Today that currently not enough employers provided them.
“We need to roughly treble the number of apprenticeships on offer,” he said at the time. “There’s going to be a big drive in the public sector as it is badly under-represented. It’s now clear the apprenticeship model works just as well in administration and management jobs [as it does in manual jobs].”
Other employers working with the National Employer Service, currently part of the Learning and Skills Council, include opticians Dollond & Aitchinson, Barchester Healthcare, Kwikfit tyre company and holiday business TUI.
Funding for apprenticeships will increase by almost a quarter between 2007-08 and 2010-11, to more than £1bn.