A one-year stay of execution has been granted over maths and English GCSEs for apprentices.

chrissymeleadyopinionpic2003-460x306In a move that will be welcomed by employers, the new level 3 apprenticeship standard published yesterday makes minimum GCSE standards an exit, rather than an entry requirement.

The standard will be used to design apprenticeship assessments and was the result of an employers’ group working under the Government’s ‘trailblazer’ initiative.

The move follows lobbying by employers concerned that a GCSE entry requirement of grade C or above for maths and English would put thousands of students off from applying.

However, the move is just a ‘transitional arrangement’, said the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL).

From 1 August 2015 all early years Level 3 apprentices will need English and maths GCSEs at grade C or above to start their course.

Nevertheless, the Level 3 standard published yesterday had employers’ recommendations for an exit requirement left intact. It says, ‘employers who recruit candidates without English and maths GCSE at Grade C or above (or DfE approved equivalencies…) must ensure that the candidate achieves this standard prior to the completion of the apprenticeship.’ Read full article…