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Lords Economics Committee evidence session to focus on adult education and apprenticeships

Why has there been a fall in the number of apprentice starts? Is the minimum wage for apprentices too low? Why is adult learning in decline? Can the artificial barriers between higher and further education be broken down?

These are some of the questions the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will be asking two panels of witnesses on Tuesday 27 February 2018.

At 3.35pm the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Alison Fuller, Pro-Director (Research and Development), Institute of Education, University College London
  • Dr Hilary Steedman, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Performance, London School of Economics
  • Antony Jenkins, Chair, Institute for Apprenticeships.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask them include:

  • The Government says that existing employees should only become apprentices if they need a lot of training to do their job. Have employers been adhering to this? Should employers be allowed to 'rebadge' existing employees as apprentices?
  • Half of all apprenticeship providers inspected by Ofsted last year were rated as inadequate or required improvement. Will the new apprenticeship standards improve quality?
  • Should degree apprenticeships receive funding from the higher education budget, rather than from the apprenticeship levy?
  • Are apprentices paid enough? Should maintenance loans or grants be available to them?

At 4.35pm the Committee will hear from:

  • Professor Sir Alan Tuckett, Professor of Education, University of Wolverhampton
  • Professor Ewart Keep, Professor, Director, Centre on Skills Knowledge and Organisational Performance, Oxford University
  • Stephen Evans, Chief Executive, Learning and Work Institute.

Questions the Committee is likely to ask them include:

  • What are the merits of a lifetime tertiary education loan entitlement, which could be drawn down at different stages within a person's lifetime?
  • Should the apprenticeship levy's scope be widened to cover other sorts of workplace training?
  • Could online courses become a valid alternative to traditional forms of qualifications?
  • Do you think targets for participation or people achieving particular levels of qualification are helpful?

These evidence sessions will start at 3.35pm on Tuesday 27 February 2018 in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

These sessions are part of the Committee's ongoing inquiry into the economics of higher, further and technical education.

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