As more businesses formalise their understanding of what their 'licence to operate' means, it is also time for us to more openly declare the capacity and capability of the workplace to provide effective work-based learning and development.
Many work-based learning environments rival those offered by many higher education institutions and it would be helpful if we now formalised the recognition of such learning provision.
This would help greatly in attracting new entrants and for informing careers advisers. It would also be worthwhile to explore how best to harness the best work-based learning programmes for wider economic and social benefit.
For example, there are many excellent foundation, advanced and graduate apprenticeship programmes, and these could handle sector sponsored extra participants. The workplace by definition is up-to-date, and does not suffer many of the limitations of external providers, and those external providers can be brought into the work place and be truly integrated into work-based learning provision.
Many colleges and universities of the future will find their origins in the workplace of today.
Michael Cross, executive chair, Navigate Group, Leeds