07 February 2012 #Employment
The Prime Minister, David Cameron, has announced a new round of Government funding to support thousands of apprenticeships and help deliver the world class skills firms need to drive growth including:
David Cameron said: "I`m delighted to underline our commitment to strengthen our economy by helping employers take on apprentices and ensure that the UK workforce has the skills that businesses need. Under this Government apprenticeship starts are increasing at a record rate, with improvements across the age range, in all sectors, throughout the country.... And by focusing investment where it is most needed to deliver sustainable growth and offering real ownership of vocational training to employers, we are equipping businesses with the skills they need to rebalance our economy and distribute opportunity more widely."
Apprenticeship Week 2012, was launched by Vince Cable from the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, and supported by a large number of organisations including employers, apprentices, colleges and schools, is expected to be the biggest Apprenticeship Week to date. In excess of 500 events have been lined up across the country this week to celebrate the achievements of this workforce, and perhaps also as a direct result of official statistics released last week, which have shown a 63.5% rise in the number of apprenticeships starts in 2010/2011.
In November last year, the Government announced various new measures to further increase the number of apprenticeships including offering small businesses (SMEs) with up to 50 employees an incentive payment of up to £1,500 two months after the individual has started their apprenticeship in 2012/2013. SMEs can apply for this incentive payment from next week.
Vince Cable said: "We are providing extra help to enable small employers to hire their first apprentices. We will also continue to develop new advanced and higher-level apprenticeships to deliver the world-class skills individuals and firms need to get ahead."
A number of banks, including HSBC and Barclays have today announced hundreds of apprenticeships.