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Minister celebrates dramatic growth in apprenticeships

Ahead of National Apprenticeship Week, Minister Nick Boles celebrated apprentices as one of the great successes of the decade

Addressing the House of Commons ahead of next week’s National Apprenticeship Week, Minister Nick Boles celebrated apprentices as one of the great successes of the decade.

The number of people starting higher apprenticeships that deliver the technical skills the UK economy vitally needs has grown significantly. Across England there were 19,800 starts on higher apprenticeships in 2014 to 2015, an increase of 115% on the previous year.

The government is working with employers and further education providers to help more businesses make apprentices part of their growth strategy and through the new apprenticeship levy, will be doubling in cash terms the annual level of spending on apprenticeships between 2010 to 2011 and 2019 to 2020 to £2.5 billion.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

“We want to give all young people a chance to make the most of their talents and create a better life for themselves. That’s exactly why we are committed to creating 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

“Businesses and colleges should be congratulated for helping apprenticeships move from strength to strength. I am hugely proud of the success we have achieved together and look forward to even more young people getting the chance to work hard and get on.”

At the heart of the apprenticeship drive is the principle that no one better understands the skills employers need than employers themselves. Employers have been given the power to develop new apprenticeships, which clearly and simply set out what an apprentice must learn. There are now more than 1,300 employers involved in developing new apprenticeships as part of the successful Trailblazer initiative.

The government also plans to launch the new independent, employer-led, Institute for Apprenticeships. The Institute will regulate the quality of apprenticeships in England, taking on responsibility for approving new apprenticeship standards and assessment plans. Only standards that are valued by employers will be approved and funded.

Nick Boles also pledged to press on with reforms to boost the number of quality apprenticeships – with England still lagging behind countries such as Germany and Australia.

National Apprenticeship Week begins on 14 March 2016 and celebrates apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy. Throughout the week, hundreds of events will be taking place across the country to encourage more employers and young people to find out about apprenticeships.

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