Apprenticeships minister Anne Milton has said she will pursue any school that does not allow in FE providers to promote their offerings.
The so-called Baker Clause means that schools are legally obliged to let colleges, training providers and university technical colleges (UTCs) speak to pupils to make them aware of the options available to them at 14-16, post-16 and post-18 level.
Asked what can be done if a school does not let an FE provider in, Ms Milton said: “They have got to by law. Any story about a school closing its doors I personally will take up.”
The minister was speaking on a visit to WhiteHat, a London-based tech start-up wthat matches school leavers and non-graduates with apprenticeship opportunities, for National Apprenticeship Week.
Ali Naqvi, an apprentice at a business consultancy, said it had been hard at first to persuade his parents that an apprenticeship was the right option, but added: “Once they saw me in formal clothes and bringing in a pay cheque, they saw it was a successful option.”
'No system is perfect'
WhiteHat chief executive Euan Blair said more people needed to be talking about apprenticeships.
“We probably need to overcome the stigma surrounding not going to university,” he said. “There are some parents who thought if their children didn’t go to uni you’re reducing your potential chances in later life. We’ve got to show people this is not the case and you could end up working for big company straight from school.”
Speaking about National Apprenticeship Week, Ms Milton said she wanted to help to get the message out about apprenticeships.
“Of course, the system is not perfect – no system is perfect,” she added. “As a society, we do have moral obligations to make sure that we never give up on anybody and we need to make sure there are lots of routes available because the same route doesn’t fit everybody.”