De Bois spoke about the issue today (12 March) as part of a panel debate centred on the recommendations from the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) enquiry, on the first day of International Confex at London Olympia.
De Bois, who is the chair of the inquiry, said the structures to make apprenticeships work are in place, but that most people still perceived it to be about people working on a shop floor or in factories.
Martin Christian-Kent, research and policy director at People 1st, who sat on the panel, said apprenticeships in the industry can not be seen in isolation, and that a strategy is needed to bring together the "fantastic in-house training with the burgeoning higher education sector".
As well as highlighting the issue of apprenticeships, the debate also looked at sharing best practice, sustainabilty issues, whether industry partnerships should be formed with local and regional authorities and whether a single, professional organisation for the industry needs to be created.
While the panel - and the audience - agreed that sharing best practice was vital to the industry, a number of barriers were highlighted, including the fact that clients do not wish to share information about the events they hold and the fact that sharing best practice could lead to competitors stealing business.
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