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Holt Review calls for overhaul of apprenticeships system for SMEs


The apprenticeships system should be reformed to make the programme more accessible to the UK’s small and medium-sized enterprises, a new report suggests.


In a Government-commissioned review of apprenticeships, Jason Holt, a jeweller and social entrepreneur, claims that the existing system is ‘misunderstood and inaccessible, not always helped by a plethora of organisations willing to give – sometimes conflicting – advice’.


Publishing his report, Mr Holt said: ‘Whilst apprenticeships offer undoubted growth opportunities for businesses, not enough SMEs are taking advantage.


‘This is because they have an outdated view of apprenticeships, are often in the dark, and frequently do not receive the specific training provision their apprentices need. My recommendations are intended to address these issues with Government, employers and providers all playing a part.’


His proposals include simplifying the existing apprenticeships system and improving communication with employers. Holt also called for a shift in the balance of influence towards employers taking on apprentices and away from providers of training schemes.


In response to the Holt Review, the Government has revealed that it will modify the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (AGE) to make more businesses eligible for the grant.