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Steve Bratt, CEO of the Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA), applauds the Government’s plan to raise the profile of vocational training, but warns that only industry recognised apprenticeships should take the credit.

“It’s good to see the status of vocational training being raised. For too long now apprenticeships have been seen as second class to degrees. If, as Vince Cable has pledged today, we are to make the UK’s apprenticeship programme truly world-class, then it is important that apprenticeships are given the public recognition that they deserve.”

Bratt goes on to say: “While this and measures to create additional apprenticeship places are to be applauded, I would urge Government to think carefully when determining the criteria for an apprenticeship, as well as Government funding. We must ensure that these apply to industry-recognised qualifications that are meaningful and provide benefit to employers. There are a number of short courses, which fail to adequately train, and ultimately leave people under-qualified and out of pocket. These are not true apprenticeships as they do not provide the vital work experience required by employers.”

Bratt concludes: “Our country is at a cross roads and if we don’t act now to shore up the skills deficit in our craft industries by investing in skilled apprenticeships, we will have little chance of successfully emerging out of the recession.”

-ENDS-

Notes to Editors:
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About The Electrical Contractors’ Association (ECA)
The ECA represents the interests of 3,000 member companies involved in electrical installation work. Collectively, the member companies have an annual turnover of more than £5 billion, employ over 30,000 operatives and support 8,000 apprentices in craft training. The role of the ECA is to provide a focus for the electrical industry in terms of safety, training, qualification, technological development and industry performance www.eca.co.uk.

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