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Boosting apprenticeships for young people

Wednesday, November 16 2011


The Government has today launched new measures to ensure young people and small businesses feel the full benefits of the successful expansion of apprenticeships.

Data released last month showed that 442,700 people started an apprenticeship in the 2010/11 academic year, a 58 per cent increase on the year before.

Today, the Government has announced it will be:

  • Offering cash bonuses for taking on young apprentices. The Government will offer employers with 50 employees or fewer up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13.
  • Making it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice. The National Apprenticeships Service and training providers will be required to ensure that every employer is able to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice.
  • Targeting apprenticeships where they are needed. We are renewing the programme's focus on younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where apprenticeships can make the greatest impact.
  • Equipping apprentices with basic skills. Apprenticeship providers will be required to offer all apprentices training in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE.
  • Ensuring high standards. We will launch a review into the standards and quality of apprenticeships, undertaken by a leading employer and reporting in the Spring.

Conservative Skills Minister John Hayes said:

'We are determined that the huge expansion in the apprenticeships this government has delivered is effectively targeted.

'That's why we will give small firms a bonus of up to £1,500 for every young apprentice they take on. And we are streamlining the system so that businesses are no longer put off taking on an apprentice because of bureaucracy and red tape.

'High-quality apprenticeships help young people out of unemployment and into work, as well as boosting the skills of the workforce for the benefit of the whole economy. We will continue to support and invest in apprenticeships for all ages.'

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