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News & Views Carrying a torch for Bollywood

Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan carried the Olympic flame in London on the Thursday before the opening cer- emony. The star said he was honoured to be asked to carry the flame and that it was “a proud moment for me and the country”. The 69-year-old star, who has acted in more than 180 films and remains India’s most popular actor, carried the torch as it passed through Southwark. Amitabh Bachchan is not the only Indian celebrity to be associated with the London Olympics. Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman teamed up with Danny Boyle, artistic director of the opening ceremony, to compose a track for the pageant. Rahman composed a track in Punjabi celebrating the Indian influence in the UK as part of a medley in the Olympic opening ceremony.

People 1st takes leading role in apprenticeship review

People 1st, the skills council for the hospitality and tourism sector, has welcomed the Government’s Richard Review on apprenticeships and says it will be taking an active role to ensure the views of sector employers are heard.

The Richard Review takes a medium to long term look at the future of appren- ticeships in England, and aims to identify best practice and ensure that apprenticeships meet the needs of the changing economy. The Review will also focus on ensuring that apprenticeships deliver the quali- fications and skills employers need, and make sure that the Government is maximising the impact of investment in apprenticeships.

Martin-Christian Kent, executive direc- tor at People 1st, said that his organisa- tion welcomes the Review and believes that it is timely. He says, “We launched our Apprenticeship Strategy 18 months

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ago and we’ve seen the number of apprentices rise from 19,000 to 23,000 in this period. More employers are offer- ing apprenticeships than ever before and yet there are questions about their purpose and quality.” Martin added that the hospitality sector is amongst the highest users of apprenticeships, making it critical that apprenticeships both equip people with the skills they need to do their current job, and help them to develop broader skills so they can continue to progress their career.

People 1st has released a discussion paper that looks at the sector’s engage- ment with and use of apprenticeships at all levels. This paper will form the basis of extensive employer consultation during the next few months. Central to the paper is the issue of the 12 month minimum duration for all apprentice- ships, which People 1st believes is a misguided approach to trying to solve a much wider issue. Instead, the organi- sation believes that any meaningful


solution must address apprenticeship content, delivery and assessment of both training and the broader experience.

To ensure the sector’s voice is heard, People 1st will be consulting with employers, past apprentices and part- ners to find out more about the hos- pitality, passenger transport, travel and tourism sector’s needs in terms of the role of apprenticeships and what a quality apprenticeship looks like. It will also work with industry to provide an alternative solution to the minimum 12 month duration. People 1st will then submit evidence to the Richard Review and revise its Apprenticeship Strategy.

People 1st will also begin working with partners to launch an apprenticeship campaign to attract more people onto apprenticeships in the sector.

Sept/Oct 2012

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