Government Cuts Apprenticeship Red Tape
The Government has unveiled measures to reduce the red tape businesses face when they take on apprentices.
Skills minister John Hayes said that the reforms are aiming to simplify the payment process, as well as reporting and assessment requirements for employers who receive government financial support for apprentices.
The other changes announced include providing employers with a toolkit that explains the apprenticeship process from start to finish, and a more streamlined certification process.
The move has been welcomed by the Confederation of British Industry, but small business groups said the changes didn’t do enough to encourage smaller firms to take on apprentices.
“It’s disappointing that the recent announcement was aimed at reducing red tape for large businesses.”
said Alexandra Burton, policy officer at the Forum of Private Business.
“Small firms are eager to take on and train up the next generation, but the reams of paperwork they face are a real deterrent. It’s usually the owner-manager or a key director who is forced to spend up to 40 hours each month wading through forms.”
“In order to help small businesses and the economy the Government should introduce serious policies that reduce and simplify employment and health and safety regulations, in particular, that are a major barrier to taking on apprentices.”
Responding to the criticism a Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said:
“The Government is delivering the biggest apprenticeships programme in our country’s history, with new quality standards and more on-the-job training to help firms of all sizes meet their skills needs. With funding in place to deliver some 360,000 apprentices this year alone, we are committed to doing more to help small companies benefit from this investment.”
“Having already cut red tape for many larger employers, later this year we will announce further measures to reduce bureaucracy for small firms that take on apprentices, ensuring that more firms get the training support they need to prosper and grow.”added the spokesperson.