To celebrate the launch of The Commission on Apprenticeships, City & Guilds has called on the government to remember the needs of small businesses as it continues to reform the apprenticeship system.

Reforms that will place the apprenticeship system into the hands of the employer are welcomed by City & Guilds. However, it urges government to fully consider the needs of smaller business as changes are made.

Kirstie Donnelly MBE, UK managing director at City & Guilds, said:  “Smaller businesses already struggle with limited time and resources, and too much bureaucracy will only make the system worse. It’s vital that new management and funding arrangements do not discourage them from employing apprentices.

“We’ve heard that employers should have a choice about whether they handle public money or not, and that many sectors are worried the reforms will put businesses off taking on apprentices.

“We can only resolve these issues if we work together as a sector to champion the proven benefits of apprentices to employers.”

Kirstie Donnelly was a commissioner for Demos’ Commission on Apprenticeships, which formally launched today (12/03/15) in Westminster. The year-long Commission brought together politicians, academics and industry experts to suggest ways to increase the number of high quality apprenticeships in the UK, and how to improve awareness and careers advice for young people.

Demos found parents overwhelmingly support the idea of apprenticeships, regardless of gender, age, class or background, with 92% believing them to be a good option. Three quarters of parents (77%) also feel the number of young people doing an apprenticeship should be higher than the 7% who are currently enrolled.

The City & Guilds Alliance also recently commissioned a piece of research ‘Remaking Apprenticeships’ which advises how best to increase the quality in apprenticeships. To read the report visit