With 2023 nearing its end, many will be getting their crystal balls out ready to make a load of predictions about what 2024 will bring. This can concern almost any area of life – and that includes apprenticeships.
FE Week has made six predictions about how apprenticeship training providers will change their programmes in 2024, with new technology, different kinds of skills and more tailored training among these.
Perhaps inevitably, AI is included, with the arrival of cha5t GPT potentially having the effect of integrating work and study, whereas at present programmes are divided between work time and study time.
The use of soft skills is another area forecasted to gain extra focus. It argues that a focus on technical aptitude has left gaps in the capacity of staff to deliver important skills like presenting, communicating and teamwork.
At the same time, it said more technically skilled teachers will be needed as workplace technology becomes more advanced. Further to this, skills like data analysis, software development and digital marketing, already short in 2023, will be in even more demand in 2024.
Teaching skills alone is not enough, however; FE News predicts more ‘bespoke’ courses to equip individuals with exactly the set of skills they need, not just a broad general skillset.
The other tip was for changes to the apprenticeship levy, which is focused on the proposals made by the Labour Party. With a general election likely in 2024, a change of government could see a new approach to this.
While political parties may be working out what to propose in their election manifestos, many interested groups hope to catch their attention with their own ideas in this area.
For example, the think tank EDSK has just produced a report on the path from education into good jobs called ‘Broken Ladders’, focused on what it sees as a lack of opportunities for those without higher education qualifications.
It has proposed banning graduates from apprenticeships, so that these can be focused on providing a clearer alternative to going down the academic route.