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Employers to design tougher vocational career route

More than 60 ‘trailblazing’ employers have signed up to offer a new “improved” apprenticeship intended to give “serious kudos” to vocational career routes, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced.

Under the reforms the new apprenticeships will last for a minimum of one year with the training and development plans designed by employers themselves to ensure they meet specific industry needs. The beefed up programmes mean apprentices will face more independent academic assessments to ensure good levels of English and maths, while their progress will be graded to make achievements measurable against full time education. Individuals will also receive a minimum of 20 per cent “off-the-job training”, which refers to time away from their workstation to focus on training.

Employers already signed up to offer the scheme include Microsoft, Tesco, National Grid and Barclays Bank.

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