Consultation outcome

Future of apprenticeships in England: Richard Review next steps

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Applies to England

This consultation has concluded

Download the full outcome

Future of apprenticeships in England: implementation plan

Detail of outcome

The ‘Implementation Plan’ responds to the consultation and sets out policy, process and timescales for reforming apprenticeships in England.

Our reforms will make sure that apprenticeships become more rigorous and more responsive to the needs of employers. We will improve the quality of apprenticeships through introducing:

  • higher expectations on English and maths
  • grading, eg pass, merit and distinction
  • an increased emphasis on assessment at the end of an apprenticeship

‘Trailblazers’ will lead the way in implementing these new apprenticeships. We have announced the first 8 trailblazers in the ‘Implementation Plan’. The ‘Guidance for trailblazers - version 2’ (March 2014) sets out the next steps for this work.

Original consultation


Consults on practical steps to implement the Richard Review of Apprenticeships recommendations.

This consultation ran from

Consultation description

The government has published this consultation in response to Doug Richard’s independent Review of Apprenticeships. It sets out our long term vision for apprenticeships, together with our proposals for achieving this.

The ‘Richard Review of Apprenticeships’, published in November 2012, looked at how apprenticeships in England can meet the needs of the changing economy. Our response accepts the Review’s assessment of the challenges and opportunities ahead. We endorse its recommendations for reform, in particular to

  • place control of apprenticeships more firmly in the hands of employers
  • ensure that all apprenticeships are rigorous and responsive to employers’ needs

The government’s response also launches a consultation on the practical steps needed to turn our vision into reality. We invite contributions from anyone who is interested in the future of apprenticeships by 22 May 2013.

We will carefully consider responses over the summer and will confirm our future approach and implementation plan in autumn 2013.


Published 14 March 2013
Last updated 5 March 2014 + show all updates
  1. Added link to 'Guidance for trailblazers - version 2'.

  2. Government response published: includes Implementation Plan and Guidance for Trailblazers.

  3. First published.