Memorandum submitted by the Rt Hon Jim
Knight MP, Minister of State for Schools and Learners, Department
for Children, Schools and Families
I would like to thank you for the opportunity
offered by the Committee for Lord Young and me to give evidence
on the Apprenticeships Draft Bill on Wednesday 22 October.
You will recall that I undertook to provide
a note on the possible barriers in being accepted on an Apprenticeship
at Level 3 with a 14-19 Diploma at Level 2. I can confirm that
there is nothing in the Bill that would prevent such progression.
In World-Class Apprenticeships, we set
out the threshold for the Apprenticeship Entitlement at Level
2 and Level 3, and these requirements are included Clause 22 (2)
3I. A Diploma at Level 2 meets the requirement for a specified
Level 2 qualification. Outwith the requirements specific to Apprenticeship
Entitlement, the Bill does not interfere with an employer's right
to employ whoever they want and at whatever level.
Each Apprenticeship Framework is designed to
meet employers' needs and each framework is specific to that occupation.
Any entry criteria is set by the relevant Sector Skills Council
and designed to ensure that individuals can complete the Framework.
The Learning and Skills Council is currently
working on the revised blueprint (described in the draft Bill
as the "specification of apprenticeship standards"),
which will require every framework to show clear progression routes
both to the other 14-19 progression routes and higher education.
We have also asked the employer-led Diploma Development Partnerships,
which are supported by the Sector Skills Councils, to look at
the pathways from Diplomas to Apprenticeships. We want to ensure
that young people know whether they need to take particular qualifications
within the Additional and Specialist Learning (ASL) component
of the Diploma so that they have the knowledge and skills needed
to progress from, say, the Construction and Built Environment
Diploma at Level 2 to a Level 3 Construction Apprenticeship.
I remain determined that there should be as
easy movement from Diplomas to Apprenticeships as there is from
Diplomas to A levels and higher education. Apprenticeships require
strong practical skills, and it therefore follows that learners
wanting to move into Level 3 Apprenticeships will have used ASL
to acquire these relevant skills.