Government launches new apprenticeships initiative
PRIME Minister David Cameron has unveiled plans to increase the number of quality apprenticeships across England – from nuclear engineers to tailors and butchers.
Businesses are set to be given a say in how the apprenticeship schemes are run and what they will offer.
Employers across the country are also to be asked for their views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy, set to be introduced in 2017, designed to increase investment in training.
Other steps to be outlined today that form part of the Government’s pledge to support three million apprenticeships by 2020, include a requirement to take a company’s apprenticeship offer into account when awarding large government contracts and publishing new ‘industry standards’ so that apprentices have the skills that companies need.
Cameron said: “The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business.
“As a one nation government, we are committed to supporting three million quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give millions more hardworking people financial security and a brighter future.”
Skills minister Nick Boles said: “Skilled people are the lifeblood of a strong economy but for too long UK businesses have invested too little in developing their employees’ skills to meet the demands of a competitive, global market. The apprenticeship levy will ensure that businesses invest in skills and training, and will act as a much needed shot in the arm for the country’s productivity.”
Meanwhile the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin also announced an ambition to boost apprenticeships across the road and rail industry – pledging 30,000 apprenticeship places in the sector during the lifetime of this Parliament, with help from a transport strategy led by Terry Morgan, chairman of Crossrail.
This builds on the 2.3m apprenticeships created under the last parliament to make sure that young people have the skills and expertise that employers demand.