, Education correspondent
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
A Norwich principal and former apprentice has welcomed recommendations to improve the government’s apprenticeship programme which she said had a “crucial role” to play in the development of skills in this county.
The comments from Corrienne Peasgood, who took on the role of principal at City College earlier this year, followed the publication of a report by the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee yesterday.
It recommended a wide range of reforms to ensure the government’s apprenticeship programme lived up to its potential to resolve “some of this country’s most pressing issues”.
Recommendations included outlining a formal definition of what an apprenticeship is, raising better awareness in schools, and addressing a situation which saw “excessive” profits made at the public’s expense because the government was paying too much.
The report also criticises the programme for focusing on quantity over quality in the past.
But Ms Peasgood said: “Apprenticeships have a crucial role to play in the further development of skills here in Norfolk and in the country as a whole.
“I understand the concern about whether quantity has been at the expense of quality but I think, with careful management, both can be achieved.
“There should be no reason why we cannot grow the quantity as well as the quality.”
The principal, who is a former plumbing apprentice, added: “I welcome the select committee’s recommendations on improving advice and guidance in schools to ensure young people are informed about apprenticeships with the same energy that is devoted to UCAS applications.
“The traditional academic route of A levels and university is by no means the only path to a successful and rewarding career.”