Government Funding Boost to Apprenticeships
The Government must cut the red tape involved with taking on apprentices — that’s the message from business groups, after the Prime Minister announced plans to increase apprenticeships and work placements.
Over the next four years, up to 250,000 more apprenticeships will be funded by the Government, along with 100,000 work placements over the next two years.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that the Government would need support from businesses, adding that widespread youth unemployment was holding the country back, saying:
“I’m delighted that over 100 large companies and tens of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises have already responded to our call for work experience placements so that tens of thousands of young people can take those vital first steps in experiencing the world of work.”
The funding will include a £10 million Innovation Fund to give businesses a chance to help and employ young people.
However, the Federation of Small Businesses’ national chairman, John Walker, said many small businesses fear employment regulation and avoid taking on apprentices:
“We need to make it as easy as possible for small businesses to take on apprentices, interns and staff more generally, and make micro businesses aware of what fiscal incentives are on offer for taking on an apprentice.”
Training provider Education Development International’s chief executive, Nigel Snook, agreed, adding:
“Small firms need more support to allow them to take on apprentices. There is huge potential for up-skilling in smaller companies, but the Government must cut bureaucracy, because without dedicated human resources, smaller firms struggle to deal with constantly changing processes.”
Chartered Management Institute head of communications, Mike Petrook, said small businesses offered work placement students and apprentices more than big businesses.
“It’s a great way of getting a much wider range of experience and being able to try more tasks.”
“For small companies it’s a great way of finding talent very quickly and giving them a break. Quality employers are saying that not just traditional forms of education are valued, and work placements teach young people valuable skills that they’ll need.”
If you’re considering taking on apprentices then have a look at hte busines advice article Apprenticeships: Making the Case for Training.