UK: SummitSkills has urged hvacr companies to make their opinions heard as the Government seeks to implement funding reforms to the apprenticeship system in England.

Employers have until October 1 to contribute to the Government’s consultation document on proposed options, which it says will give employers more direct financial control over training for their businesses and apprentices.

“The Government’s proposals recognise the importance of putting employers at the heart of training and apprenticeships, which we applaud,” said Keith Marshall, chief executive of SummitSkills, the sector skills council responsible for the building services engineering sector.

“However, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not likely to reflect the views of the smallest businesses which make up such a large part of the building services sector,” he continued. “The current proposals risk overlooking their needs in favour of those smaller numbers of larger employers, with whom the government will find it easier to engage.

“If the training and apprenticeship funding needs of our sector are to be adequately addressed in future, the government will need to address this. If this concerns you, too, now is the time to speak out and let the government know your views on how this could best be achieved.”

The Government’s Consultation on Funding Reform for Apprenticeships in England is seeking views from employers, learners, training providers and further education colleges.

At the same time as it announced the consultation on apprenticeship funding, the Government announced that it is extending its Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) scheme for another year, to help companies with 1,000 employees or fewer take on apprentices through a £1,500 payment. It anticipates this will create 35,000 extra apprenticeships.