BCC examines skills delivery

Trade body, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), is hosting an event today to examine how UK businesses and education providers can deliver the skills for business success.

According to BCC, concern surrounding the lack of access to high-level skills affects an all-time high of 69% of businesses. This makes the alignment between corporate need and education provision an issue of the highest priority.

The upcoming apprenticeship levy provides an unparalleled opportunity to create this alignment, according to The Open University. The organisation is partnering with KPMG to provide an apprenticeship service that enables employers to identify and fulfil their future training needs.

Apprenticeships are perfectly designed to bring together business and education because they bridge the gap between learning and doing, according to Steve Hill, director of external engagement at The Open University.

Steve explained, ‘The so-called ‘learning-doing gap’ can arise where classroom learning is not aligned with the demands of day-to-day employment. Without the immediacy of practical application, efforts to train staff will often result in ‘inert’ knowledge. Really fruitful collaborations between businesses and education providers happen where practice-based learning is embedded into the workplace.

‘This is where the new Degree apprenticeship provides something really exciting for businesses. Employers will be able to benefit from employees whose education is relevant to their workplace, with academic learning taking place beside practical application. In addition, when training is delivered online, anyone undertaking a Degree apprenticeship can study alongside their work commitments, accessing material when and where it suits them.’

He continued, ‘With the government’s new apprenticeship levy due in April next year, this BCC Summit is rightly drawing attention to the collaborations between business and education now. New apprenticeship opportunities have the potential to provide high quality, scalable and accessible education which is in line with corporate goals, and this must not go unrecognised in the run up to the levy.’