Jack Lopresti, MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, has welcomed new measures from the Government to ensure young people and small businesses feel the full benefits of the successful expansion of apprenticeships.
Data released last month showed that here in Filton and Bradley Stoke:
• 490 people started an apprenticeship in 2009/10.
• 820 people started an apprenticeship in 2010/11.
• This means the number of people starting an apprenticeship increased by 330 last year.
Earlier in November, the Government announced it will be:
• Offering cash bonuses for taking on young apprentices. The Government will offer employers with 50 employees or fewer up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13.
• Making it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice. The National Apprenticeships Service and training providers will be required to ensure that every employer is able to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice.
• Targeting apprenticeships where they are needed. We are renewing the programme’s focus on younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where apprenticeships can make the greatest impact.
• Equipping apprentices with basic skills. Apprenticeship providers will be required to offer all apprentices training in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE.
• Ensuring high standards. A review will be launched into the standards and quality of apprenticeships, undertaken by a leading employer and reporting in the Spring.
Jack said: ‘330 more people in Filton and Bradley Stoke are benefiting from an apprenticeship thanks to the government’s extra investment. This is great news not just for these individuals, but also for the whole local economy. Until now, too many businesses have been put off taking on an apprentice because of unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape. It is therefore good news for businesses and young people alike that the government is streamlining the system.
‘I also welcome the cash bonuses for small firms who take on young apprentices and I urge companies in Filton and Bradley Stoke to take up this opportunity.’