Extra support for apprenticeships

The Government has announced a £25 million fund intended to support a further 10,000 apprenticeship places.

The plan is that the extra money will boost training in such sectors as manufacturing, information technology and engineering.

The Higher Apprenticeships fund will support the expansion of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent in firms, particularly SMEs, where there is demand for the higher level skills that are necessary to create additional jobs.

The new apprenticeships will commence from October 2011. 

Announcing the fund, the Prime Minister, David Cameron said: "It is crucial that we build up the skills in this country that our businesses need and that will fuel long term growth. That is why, despite some difficult decisions on spending, we are increasing the number of apprenticeships to record levels.

"We are investing in apprenticeships because we know they work - they are good for people who want to get ahead, good for business and good for the country."

Business Secretary, Vince Cable added: "As I work with the business community to rebalance and grow the economy, apprenticeships will increasingly deliver not just basic training, but also the high level, high tech skills that drive growth.  

"The Higher Apprenticeships Fund is a crucial step towards placing vocational learning on a par with academic study, giving bright youngsters the opportunity to work with and build the most dynamic firms in the country."

The Higher Apprenticeships Fund is part of a package of additional investment in apprenticeships totalling £180 million, announced in this year's Budget. The Government is committed to funding some 360,000 apprenticeships this financial year.

More details can be found at http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/employers/the-basics/higher-apprenticeships.aspx