Prime Minister David Cameron will today outline a new package to increase the amount of apprenticeships available across England.
Employers across the country will be asked their views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy – set to be introduced in 2017 and designed to increase investment in training and apprenticeships.
As part of the plans, the Government will take into account a company’s apprenticeship offer when awarding future government contracts and will publish a new “industry standard” to make sure that apprentices have the skills needed.
Speaking about the plans, the PM commented: “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 3m 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.”
Transport Secretary Patrick Mcloughlin has also announced plans to create 30,000 apprenticeship places in the road and rail industry. The places will be made over the lifespan of the current government and will involve the Crossrail project.
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The Manufacturer’s National Skills Conference – in partnership with The Manufacturing Technology Centre – will provide a forum to discuss the skills issue currently affecting all aspects of British manufacturing.
This inaugural event offers the opportunity to make changes throughout industry and wider partners, exploring best practice methods and innovative thinking to promote building capacity to drive business performance.
15 – 16 October, 2015 : Antsy Park, Coventry
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.”
The apprenticeship levy consultation begins today and has come about because investment by UK firm has fallen consistently, with the nation’s productivity lagging behind other Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development countries.
With more than 50 countries including the Netherlands, Denmark and South Korea already using levy systems to guarantee that larger companies invest in training apprentices, the Government hopes a similar scheme will help build a world class apprenticeship system in the UK.
Companies bidding for government contracts worth more than £10m must be able to demonstrate that there is a meaningful commitment to training and apprenticeships.
These requirements will come in to power as of September 1, 2015.