Skills Commission launches third 'Spotlight' inquiry on apprenticeships and social mobility

The Skills Commission’s Spotlight series is launching its third cross-party inquiry, examining the impact of recent apprenticeship reforms on the opportunities available to disadvantaged young people aged 16-24. This timely inquiry will be co-chaired by Conservative MP Michelle Donelan, and Labour MP Lilian Greenwood,  alongside sector expert Peter Mayhew-Smith, Principal of Kingston and Carshalton Colleges

The inquiry is the third in the series, following A Spotlight on…Young people with below average academic attainment  and Lifelong Learning for an Ageing Workforce.  

Co-chair of the inquiry, Michelle Donelan MP, said:

"I think moving forward we will end up with a very strong and dynamic apprenticeship system that will develop over a number of years. However, I do think there is a risk that disadvantaged groups may be left behind. If we want to create an aspirational society, the system should be focused on everybody.”

“I very much look forward to working with the Skills Commission to explore how we can ensure that the apprenticeships agenda supports both skills development for individuals and businesses, and social mobility in the years to come.”

Fellow co-chair, Peter Mayhew-Smith, also said:

"We need to ensure that the new apprenticeship system is stable and workable, so that young people from all backgrounds can engage with the programme and develop their skills if that’s the pathway best for them. We also need to make sure that a high degree of social justice is embedded in the new system, so that people from disadvantaged backgrounds are given equal opportunities to succeed”

The Commission is now inviting written evidence submissions to help address these important issues and provide evidence-based policy solutions. The Commission is seeking evidence from a diverse range of key sector stakeholders, including employers, providers and aspiring or current apprentices. Two versions are available, one for all stakeholders and one specifically for employers:

Please use the questions provided to frame your response to the call for evidence, but do not feel restricted by or compelled to answer every question. The Commission welcomes all types of evidence, from data including data analysis or internal studies your organisation has carried out, to personal or organisational views on these issues. Submissions of evidence will not be published and the Commission will seek your permission before quoting from evidence submissions in our final report.

The Commission’s secretariat will also be conducting informal interviews to inform the inquiry – please get in touch if you would like to discuss the topic in more detail.

The deadline for submission is Thursday 31st August. Evidence can be submitted to beth.wheaton [at] (beth[dot]wheaton[at]policyconnect[dot]org[dot]uk). For more information about the inquiry please contact Beth Wheaton on 020 7922 8003.

The Spotlight series is sponsored by the London College of Beauty Therapy and the Learning & Work Institute, with this inquiry receiving additional sponsorship from the Association of Employment and Learning Providers, Pearson and APM UK.