World-class apprenticeship standards

world class apprenticeships

My colleague Ruth and I have just published a new paper which seeks to identify world-class apprenticeship standards and to make suggestions as to how these could be applied to the English system. By ‘world class’ we mean that the standards are acknowledged to be among the best in the world.

Thirteen indicators for world-class apprenticeship standards were identified through the research and these have been divided into four sub-sections: (1) training, (2) skills and expertise, (3) recognition and (4) progression.

The findings from our research suggest that world-class apprenticeship standards require:

  • extended apprenticeships of between three to four years;
  • broad and in-depth scientific and industrial skills and knowledge;
  • the presence of a ‘master’ in the company to train an apprentice;
  • high-quality knowledge-based education and training;
  • recognition through an occupational title on completion of the training;
  • apprentices to acquire all the skills and knowledge necessary to work effectively in an occupation;
  • apprentices to become skilled workers in an occupational area with a critical and creative approach; and
  • progression routes into employment as well as into further education and training.

This report is based on interviews with seven experts from Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and South Korea on vocational education and training with a review of the literature.

The report is free to download at:

Mieschbuehler, R. and Hooley, T. (2016). World-Class Apprenticeship Standards: Report and Recommendations. Derby and London: International Centre for Guidance Studies (iCeGS), University of Derby and Pearson Education UK.

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