Jonathan Owen

‘It’s like building an aircraft while it’s in flight’

A year ago, the Institute for Apprenticeships got off to an inauspicious start – rushed into operation with a skeleton staff – and criticism has been mounting over the time it is taking to deliver the new apprenticeships. But the IfA’s boss admits to Jonathan Owen that it still is a ‘work in progress’ and pledges to make it ‘faster and better’ ➧

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Little more than a year ago, the Institute for Apprenticeships existed only on paper, and the odds were stacked against it being anywhere near ready to start work on time. The creation of an employer-led body to help to deliver apprenticeships had been announced by George Osborne, who was chancellor at the time, in November 2015.

That announcement marked the start of a frantic race by officials to try and meet the government’s pledge that the new institute would be fully operational by April last year. While they managed to bring it into being on time, it was far from being fully operational.

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