The more I think about it, the clearer it becomes – this is too urgent for Government. They don’t even have a great record in this respect, having closed the Graduate Internship Scheme last year.
- they benefit employers and employees
- they’re easy to create
We need many more, across all industries. There are some great examples of placements, including Logica, PWC and HSBC, but we need more. The new “AGE” scheme (Apprenticeship Grant for Employers) to help small employers (£1500 per apprentice), is capped at 40,000 apprentices. And it only applies to organisations who are taking on their first apprentice – but it’s better than nothing.
I think the only way we’ll create more placements is by convincing employers that it makes sense:
- it’s got to make financial sense
- they’ve got to believe it has other value too (longer-term, altruistic, social responsibility, brand etc)
- it’s got to be easy to do (really easy)
And even with all of that in place, they’ve got to get some positive feeling out of actually doing it. They’ve got to actually want to do it again, otherwise it will be consigned to history as just another initiative which they tried but “was never going to work”.
So let’s not wait for the Government to take the action. Let’s look at different ways of cracking it.