The Alliance of Sector Skills Councils

Update from BIS: Boost for apprenticeships

17 Nov 2011

Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.  Full details can be found here.

Speaking alongside Skills Minister John Hayes at a business summit in London on 16 November, Dr Cable said that the Government would slash the red tape that can deter hard pressed firms from taking on apprentices and provide a financial incentive to help the smallest firms recruit their first young apprentices. 
 
The new measures include:
  •  an incentive of £1,500 to be paid to small businesses taking on their first young apprentice aged 16 to 24. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13;
  • simplifying processes to make it quicker and easier for employers to have an apprentice - o advertising a vacancy within one month of deciding to recruit, streamlined health and safety requirements;
  • targeting the programme where apprenticeships deliver greatest value - including younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where they can make the greatest impact;
  • a requirement for apprenticeship providers to offer training in English and maths up to the standard of a good GCSE (level 2) for all apprenticeships;
  • a review into the quality of apprenticeships to be undertaken by a leading employer, to report in spring 2012.
Vince Cable said: “The apprenticeships programme is a success story, with record numbers of learners starting an apprenticeship this year.  But I have listened to employers and will go further to ensure that investment is targeted where impact is greatest, delivering the specific skills businesses need to drive growth … When times are tough, it’s right that we provide additional support to help the smallest firms meet training costs.  We’ll cut no corners on quality.  Apprenticeships will remain the gold standard for excellence in vocational training - but where red tape serves no purpose, we’ll strip it away.”

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