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One percent

The great apprenticeship fraudulent scandal: shitting on the young again

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43739963

Fast food giants, coffee shops and retailers are relabelling low-skilled jobs as apprenticeships, a report says.

The study by think tank Reform says many firms have rebranded existing roles after being obliged to contribute cash to on-the-job training.

The study says 40% of the apprenticeship standards approved do not meet traditional definition of such skilled on-the-job training courses.

The government says "quality" is at the heart of its apprenticeship reforms.

As part of the changes, it introduced an apprenticeship levy on organisations paying more than £3m in salaries a year. 

They have to pay 0.5% of their wages total into a "digital account" held by HMRC.

They then "spend" these contributions on apprenticeship training delivered by registered providers. They can also get back up to 90% of the cost of training.

 

The report says: "As part of the government's wider package of reforms to apprenticeships, groups of employers came together to write the new 'apprenticeship standards'. 

"Some used this opportunity to generate high-quality standards, but others appear to be simply rebadging low-quality, low-skill and often low-wage roles as 'apprenticeships' instead."

In 2013, the government said apprenticeships had to be skilled roles, requiring substantial and sustained training of at least 12 months, leading to full competency and should provide the apprentice with transferrable skills in an occupation.

But a quick glance at the government's official apprenticeships website shows many high street firms advertising for apprentices in what appear to be unskilled roles.

For example, KFC is advertising for an apprentice hospitality team member.

The advert describes the apprenticeship as "a structured, learner and employer-focused development programme designed to create opportunities for lifelong knowledge, skills and behaviours".

But the role is described as cooking "fries" and other products and serving customers front of house, or cooking and assembling KFC products, while maintaining clean, sanitary working conditions. 

It says training is based around day-to-day duties, but will also involve one-to-one interactions with a specialised trainer every four to six weeks.

 

and the government does nothing to stop these exploitative practices  

 

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-43739963

Fast food giants, coffee shops and retailers are relabelling low-skilled jobs as apprenticeships, a report says.

The study by think tank Reform says many firms have rebranded existing roles after being obliged to contribute cash to on-the-job training.

The study says 40% of the apprenticeship standards approved do not meet traditional definition of such skilled on-the-job training courses.

The government says "quality" is at the heart of its apprenticeship reforms.

As part of the changes, it introduced an apprenticeship levy on organisations paying more than £3m in salaries a year. 

They have to pay 0.5% of their wages total into a "digital account" held by HMRC.

They then "spend" these contributions on apprenticeship training delivered by registered providers. They can also get back up to 90% of the cost of training.

 

The report says: "As part of the government's wider package of reforms to apprenticeships, groups of employers came together to write the new 'apprenticeship standards'. 

"Some used this opportunity to generate high-quality standards, but others appear to be simply rebadging low-quality, low-skill and often low-wage roles as 'apprenticeships' instead."

In 2013, the government said apprenticeships had to be skilled roles, requiring substantial and sustained training of at least 12 months, leading to full competency and should provide the apprentice with transferrable skills in an occupation.

But a quick glance at the government's official apprenticeships website shows many high street firms advertising for apprentices in what appear to be unskilled roles.

For example, KFC is advertising for an apprentice hospitality team member.

The advert describes the apprenticeship as "a structured, learner and employer-focused development programme designed to create opportunities for lifelong knowledge, skills and behaviours".

But the role is described as cooking "fries" and other products and serving customers front of house, or cooking and assembling KFC products, while maintaining clean, sanitary working conditions. 

It says training is based around day-to-day duties, but will also involve one-to-one interactions with a specialised trainer every four to six weeks.

 

and the government does nothing to stop these exploitative practices  

 

This happens in Geneva, the apprentice system is exploited by employers to some extent. However without it, some young people I know would be in the shit. 

It's certainly not great, but I'd rather Tesco's shelves were stacked by UK apprentices than EE 16-hour workers bleeding the system for tax credits.

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1 minute ago, swissy_fit said:

This happens in Geneva, the apprentice system is exploited by employers to some extent. However without it, some young people I know would be in the shit. 

It's certainly not great, but I'd rather Tesco's shelves were stacked by UK apprentices than EE 16-hour workers bleeding the system for tax credits.

True to a point but badging these unskilled jobs as apprenticeship just debases the whole notion of high quality vocational training. 

Call it on the job training, a scholarship in kfc frying, whatever, but don’t call it an apprenticeship when it is nothing like. 

An apprenticeship was 7 years, then five, then three.  Now a burger flipper is an apprentice. It should denote a proper scheme, with proper training, leading to a high status job. 

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4 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

It is a natural and sensible reaction to the additional tax burden that is the apprenticeship levy.

The government steals more money and offers you a route to get it back; any switched-on employer will do just that.

The problem goes much deeper. Employers by and large, like feckless parents, don’t take responsibility.  They think training of their workforce is someone else’s job.  See the CBI rail against the education system, saying that what is turned out is not what they want.  

Well no, they need to rake the raw material and shape it into what they need.  They don’t by and large.  

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

True to a point but badging these unskilled jobs as apprenticeship just debases the whole notion of high quality vocational training. 

Call it on the job training, a scholarship in kfc frying, whatever, but don’t call it an apprenticeship when it is nothing like. 

An apprenticeship was 7 years, then five, then three.  Now a burger flipper is an apprentice. It should denote a proper scheme, with proper training, leading to a high status job. 

It's tricky. Many young people are completely unemployable and need to do six months of ANY work just to stop them behaving like overgrown babies. Some don't need this and are switched on right away.

If anything these more simple roles could be part of a pre-apprenticeship "training", maximum 6 months, minimum 2, that the young person has to "pass" before moving on to real vocational training. In other words, learn to get out of bed and like JP says, make your bed first.

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Think I mentioned this on another thread as I've seen it in action. An old employer of mine took on an 18yr old 'apprentice' for peanuts on a three year course. At the end of it, he would be fully qualified in a job that rarely scrapes in above mininum wage. 

I've also seen 'apprentice labourers' advertised which is just a massive piss take, though I've got to admit, even in my most halfwitted younger years, I think I would have known I was getting shafted with that one.

The one that needs a good kick up the arse is 'events catering'. I know a few young folk that do that occasionally and they're treated like absolute shit and regularly screwed out of their money. The icing on the cake is that their tips are 'given to charity' on their behalf. If that's not classified as a very moody, dodgy-arsed scheme then I don't know what is.

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7 minutes ago, swissy_fit said:

It's tricky. Many young people are completely unemployable and need to do six months of ANY work just to stop them behaving like overgrown babies. Some don't need this and are switched on right away.

If anything these more simple roles could be part of a pre-apprenticeship "training", maximum 6 months, minimum 2, that the young person has to "pass" before moving on to real vocational training. In other words, learn to get out of bed and like JP says, make your bed first.

Agree.  Another problem is that all the jobs that school kids once did, coffee shops, shop assistants etc, have all been taken by EE ers. So, rather than learning about work from a few hours a week at 14, most young people don’t get any experience until they actually begin work.  

Allowing a load of people in to undercut the jobs market was not the best move be government 

1 minute ago, Sgt Hartman said:

Think I mentioned this on another thread as I've seen it in action. An old employer of mine took on an 18yr old 'apprentice' for peanuts on a three year course. At the end of it, he would be fully qualified in a job that rarely scrapes in above mininum wage. 

I've also seen 'apprentice labourers' advertised which is just a massive piss take, though I've got to admit, even in my most halfwitted younger years, I think I would have known I was getting shafted with that one.

The one that needs a good kick up the arse is 'events catering'. I know a few young folk that do that occasionally and they're treated like absolute shit and regularly screwed out of their money. The icing on the cake is that their tips are 'given to charity' on their behalf. If that's not classified as a very moody, dodgy-arsed scheme then I don't know what is.

And then they wonder why productivity is through the floor. 

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2 minutes ago, One percent said:

 

And then they wonder why productivity is through the floor. 

Quite.

The bloke I knew was grafting his tits off and for this was getting the princely sum of about three quid an hour. Because apprentice.

He's probably a better man than me though because anyone asking me at the age of 18 to bust my arse for them for less than the cost of a pint per hour would have been invited to go fuck themselves.

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23 minutes ago, One percent said:

The problem goes much deeper. Employers by and large, like feckless parents, don’t take responsibility.  They think training of their workforce is someone else’s job.  See the CBI rail against the education system, saying that what is turned out is not what they want.  

Well no, they need to rake the raw material and shape it into what they need.  They don’t by and large.  

No, because it costs a lot and if your competitors aren't doing it then your bottom line will suffer.

If the government wishes businesses to train their own staff then it should heavily weight the taxation system upon businesses in favour of doing this and against hiring the finished product.

It's not hard to see how to do this.  Employers' NI is a whopping 13.8% for everything over £8k a year.

So what you do is set up a sytem that waives this for employees in evidenced training and also steadily reduces the standard rate (not the training rate, which is zero) for every year that the employee is in place at say, 5% of the full rate each year.

So a member of staff who has been in the same employment for twenty years costs zero NI whereas a brand new hiree costs 13.8%.

At present there is no such advantage to training and retaining staff hence the hire 'em fire 'em culture.

Edited by Frank Hovis

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Apprenticeship money should go to the apprentice - to be carried by them to subsidise the job that they best think will give the a career. There would have to be some checks on employer status/suitability but it should not be in the hands of a few verified corporates (yet again).

Having said that counter to this the young are making appalling decisions borrowing big money on useless degrees. Having said that those with half a brain and seeing an apprenticeship route into the same career that would otherwise have needed an unnecessary degree are arguably the sensible bunch.

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11 minutes ago, UmBongo said:

I've already posted on here about my employer a year or two ago advertising for 'Apprentice Data Entry Clerks' . A job anyone can master within a few days. 9_9

Proper old fashioned apprentices used to have to make a 'masterpiece' to get fully qualified, eg something like a top quality pair of hand made shoes, bespoke suit, hand composited book etc. What does a data entry clerk produce - a really neat spreadsheet?xD

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25 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

No, because it costs a lot and if your competitors aren't doing it then your bottom line will suffer.

If the government wishes businesses to train their own staff then it should heavily weight the taxation system upon businesses in favour of doing this and against hiring the finished product.

It's not hard to see how to do this.  Employers' NI is a whopping 13.8% for everything over £8k a year.

So what you do is set up a sytem that waives this for employees in evidenced training and also steadily reduces the standard rate (not the training rate, which is zero) for every year that the employee is in place at say, 5% of the full rate each year.

So a member of staff who has been in the same employment for twenty years costs zero NI whereas a brand new hiree costs 13.8%.

At present there is no such advantage to training and retaining staff hence the hire 'em fire 'em culture.

Surely the consequence of this would just be a whole raft of companies staffed by cheap, but useless old people?

 Ultimately this is why pretty much all government intervention is bad: getting the desired outcome is just too difficult.

The only way this works is if there is competition for the best people i.e. more vacancies than applicants. The good apprenticeship schemes are well oversubscribed. There just arent enough of them to go round - hence Starbucks and KFC being able to get away with crap like this.

Edited by Roger_Mellie

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27 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

No, because it costs a lot and if your competitors aren't doing it then your bottom line will suffer.

If the government wishes businesses to train their own staff then it should heavily weight the taxation system upon businesses in favour of doing this and against hiring the finished product.

It's not hard to see how to do this.  Employers' NI is a whopping 13.8% for everything over £8k a year.

So what you do is set up a sytem that waives this for employees in evidenced training and also steadily reduces the standard rate (not the training rate, which is zero) for every year that the employee is in place at say, 5% of the full rate each year.

So a member of staff who has been in the same employment for twenty years costs zero NI whereas a brand new hiree costs 13.8%.

At present there is no such advantage to training and retaining staff hence the hire 'em fire 'em culture.

But that’s just a different way of organising the training levey. Employers would still exploit it.

tbh, I don’t know what the answer is. Runner ever faster down the wrong road isn’t it though. 

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1 minute ago, One percent said:

But that’s just a different way of organising the training levey. Employers would still exploit it.

tbh, I don’t know what the answer is. Runner ever faster down the wrong road isn’t it though. 

Blocking the ready supply of pre-trained employees from outside the country would be the only way to force all companies to train up and retain their own staff IMO.

Half of my department's recent vacancies have been filled by experienced, polite, hard working EEs.  Where that option is there any sensible employer will of course take advanatge of it.

 

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1 minute ago, Frank Hovis said:

Blocking the ready supply of pre-trained employees from outside the country would be the only way to force all companies to train up and retain their own staff IMO.

Half of my department's recent vacancies have been filled by experienced, polite, hard working EEs.  Where that option is there any sensible employer will of course take advanatge of it.

 

Agree. The establishment have been using the reserve army of labour since the 70s. First it was encouraging women out of the home and into the workplace, then it has been foreigners.  They seem bent of keeping the cost of labour down, regardless of the social consequences. 

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23 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Blocking the ready supply of pre-trained employees from outside the country would be the only way to force all companies to train up and retain their own staff IMO.

Half of my department's recent vacancies have been filled by experienced, polite, hard working EEs.  Where that option is there any sensible employer will of course take advanatge of it.

 

Whic why I keep banging on about setting a highish wage before anyone - EE or wherever is allowed to work in the UK - 30k/single, 60k/family.

Havng a systen where EUers come over and do low skilled work - and a huge fucking sub is insane.

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1 minute ago, spygirl said:

Whic why I keep banging on about setting a highish wage before anyone - EE or wherever is allowed to work in the UK - 30k/single, 60k/family.

Havng a systen where EUers come over and do low skilled work - and a huge fucking sub is insane.

That wouldn't change what I've just flagged.  There is no incentive for a company to spend years investing in training up school leavers to replace your departing staff when you can get the fully trained product off the shelf.

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1 hour ago, Frank Hovis said:

It is a natural and sensible reaction to the additional tax burden that is the apprenticeship levy.

The government steals more money and offers you a route to get it back; any switched-on employer will do just that.

If people understood how much their employer is paying the government in taxes just to employ them then they wouldn't complain about things like this. I'd love to employ more British people but the tax burden makes no sense.

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3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

That wouldn't change what I've just flagged.  There is no incentive for a company to spend years investing in training up school leavers to replace your departing staff when you can get the fully trained product off the shelf.

A question this raises is how well trained are these people?  Sadly, given the state of U.K. education, I would think better that what you could get locally 

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2 minutes ago, One percent said:

A question this raises is how well trained are these people?  Sadly, given the state of U.K. education, I would think better that what you could get locally 

Based upon my direct if limited experience: excellently.

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1 hour ago, One percent said:

The problem goes much deeper. Employers by and large, like feckless parents, don’t take responsibility.  They think training of their workforce is someone else’s job.  See the CBI rail against the education system, saying that what is turned out is not what they want.  

Well no, they need to rake the raw material and shape it into what they need.  They don’t by and large.  

Some are, some arn't.

For me, my early days in work - bar washing pots whcih was fucking pointless, for money only - was me working cheaply to get experience, and the employer getting someone cheap but taking a big risk. I was a very good bet. Other people Ive seen recruited were a fucking disaster. Finding out at the grand old age of 24 that you are not suitable for a particular career path is pretty dumb. But thats what happen when you insist people go to Uni or need a degree before doing a job.

The problem these days is what happens when the person has 2 years experience and has demonstrated their productivity and use.  Then the employee has to be prepared to increase the pay rapidly or lose them.

Now in my jobs, Ive recevied the sum total of ~10 days training, mainly on work specific tasks. In my entire 25 years of proper work, my requests for training is basically getting he money to buy a book which work keeps. Sometimes the books have been pricey - £100/each. I take these books home and read them. At best, Ill grab a few computers at work - sometimes up to 50  - and do stuff after work for an hour or two.

Ive had my quarterly meet up with odds + sods business. The whinging on recruiting is getting worse.

I keep ponting out the realtity to them, time + time again.

Sit down. Decide what skills and numbers you need in 5 years. Then ponder 3x that number at Uni. Wont cost a lot.

If you, as a business cannot think of what skills would require in 5 years time then how do you expect an 18yo?

The only other choice is decide what skills you need. Find people and pay them what they ask.

In the olded days - pre early 90s recession, companies used to be a lot bigger, have age based promotions and DB pensions that would pay a good pension in 40 years. This system was expensive, had some very obvious shortcomings - Worked at a few in 88-91, land of dinosaurs, similar to UK public sector.

Now companies have decided to be smaller and operate and hirenfire culture, which is fine. But that has short comings too. And can be expensive when you are caught short of skills - But spy xx wants 120k. Pay him! We offered 50k. What happened? He told us to fuck off, literally. Have you got anyone else lined up? No, he was the only person we found in 2 years of looking ....

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5 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

Based upon my direct if limited experience: excellently.

Yep guessed so.  I stumbled across a couple of Lithuanians who’s education and training levels seemed to be far superior than our own. 

Pone of the biggest problems here is that we have dumbed down to the lowest denominator and at post school level, teachers are very strongly discouraged to fail anyone. Everyone must be a success regardless.   

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