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World-class apprenticeship standards: Report and recommendationsThe aim of this research was to identify world-class apprenticeship standards and to make suggestions as to how these could be applied to the English system. By ‘world class’ we mean that the standards described here are acknowledged to be among the best in the world. Thirteen indicators for world-class apprenticeship standards were identified through the research and these have been divided into four sub-sections: (1) training, (2) skills and expertise, (3) recognition and (4) progression. Each of the indicators is explained separately in this report but they have to be understood as being in close relationship to each other. As well as identifying world-class apprenticeship standards the indicators are also designed to compare these standards to apprenticeship standards that are of a good level but do not necessarily feature amongst the best in the world. Identifying and applying standards in apprenticeships is important because apprenticeship training, especially if delivered at a world-class standard, can raise the number of people in employment, increase individual and company productivity and enhance economic growth. The findings from our research suggest that world-class apprenticeship standards require: • extended apprenticeships of between three to four years; • broad and in-depth scientific and industrial skills and knowledge; • the presence of a ‘master’ in the company to train an apprentice; • high-quality knowledge-based education and training; • recognition through an occupational title on completion of the training; • apprentices to acquire all the skills and knowledge necessary to work effectively in an occupation; • apprentices to become skilled workers in an occupational area with a critical and creative approach; and • progression routes into employment as well as into further education and training. This report is based on interviews with seven experts from Australia, Denmark, England, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and South Korea on vocational education and training with a review of the literature.