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Companies welcome government's flagship apprenticeship programme

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Employers and industry experts have reacted positively to the government's Get In, Go Far apprenticeship campaign.

The scheme is the third phase of the trailblazer programme that was launched in October 2013. The aim is to create 40 apprenticeship standards in conjunction with 200 UK employers.

The latest phase focuses on 40 custom apprenticeships within the engineering, hospitality and legal professions, among others.

Michael Walby, director of professional qualification training at KPMG, called policy-makers' role in empowering employers to build vocational training "vital". He also praised the programme for setting clear standards for apprentices.

"It defines the knowledge, skills and behaviours that are required by a fully competent apprentice and provides a framework for apprentices that lead to valuable, transferable qualifications, relevant for employers," he said.

O2's head of talent Michelle Adams called the announcement a step towards apprentices finally getting the recognition they deserve.

"The campaign shows the importance of businesses taking responsibility for the quality of their own programmes and creating genuinely valuable opportunities for young people," she added.

"This will raise awareness of apprenticeships being a legitimate alternative to university and won’t just mean good news for apprentices, but will also help businesses to develop a future-fit workforce.”

Speaking ahead of this week's GCSE results, Jez Langhorn, senior VP – chief people officer, McDonald’s UK said that young people no longer have to make a straight choice between employment and education.

"Work-based qualifications such as apprenticeships are a great way to gain on-the-job experience, earning as you learn while building broader skills that are vital to long-term career success; skills like communication, teamwork and time management," he said.