Linda Clarke, Westminster Business School Professor of European industrial relations, participated in the Guardian debate under the title “Why apprenticeships need a rethink”.

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Linda pointed out that this month the National Audit Office said that for every £1 of taxpayers' money apprenticeships generate £18 for the wider economy, which is undeniably boosting economic growth, and providing new life chances for young and older learners alike. The average apprenticeship, Linda continues, lasts more than 12 months and entails a rigorous period of job-relevant training. Westminster Business School has tightened guidance for those developing apprenticeships – those training providers that do not meet the high standards learners deserve are having their funding withdrawn. Linda Clarke concludes that this is irrefutable evidence that the government's unprecedented investment, backed by tough new measures to ensure that quality matches quantity, is helping make apprenticeships the gold standard in vocational training.

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