1        The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) represents over 17,000 heads, principals, deputies, vice-principals, assistant heads, business managers and other senior staff of maintained and independent schools and colleges throughout the UK.

ASCL Cymru represents school leaders in more than 90 per cent of the secondary schools in Wales.


2.     ASCL welcomes the focus on apprenticeships in Wales which we believe to be a vital part of the offer to young people at the end of compulsory education. 


3.     ASCL welcomes the intent to invest in better careers advice in schools and colleges in order to ensure that all young people are made aware of the opportunities offered by apprenticeships.


4.     ASCL supports the concept of maximising the opportunities for those who are most disadvantaged, and believes that the apprenticeships pathway may allow some of these young people an attractive alternative to a more formal, academic route.


5.     We fully support any initiative which encourages parity of esteem for any vocational route, believing that if young people are to be encouraged and supported to undertake apprenticeships, the outcomes need to be celebrated publicly and endorsed by public figures as fully as is the case for academic examination results. 


6.     ASCL is concerned that there is still a public perception (that may act as a barrier to some young people considering apprenticeships), that following a route through university represents the best opportunity for all young people, and is most likely to lead to employment.  We feel it critical that there is an appropriate and carefully structured publicity campaign that makes clear the benefits of apprenticeships, including a realistic appraisal of employment prospects, the potential for further training (possibly at HE institutions), and the value of “mastery” of the chosen profession.


7.     I hope that this is of value to your inquiry. ASCL Cymru would be happy to contribute to further discussions.