Greg Hands M.P. has welcomed new statistics that show a record number of people in Chelsea and Fulham started an apprenticeship in 2011/12. The provisional data also indicates that the numbers are up again in the first quarter of 2012/13.
The full-year figures show that 220 people started an apprenticeship locally – an increase of 120 per cent on the last year of Labour’s government.
This has been made possible by:
- • Investing in more apprenticeships. Over the lifetime of this parliament, 250,000 more apprenticeships will be funded than the last government planned.
- • Cash bonuses for small companies taking on young apprentices. Employers with 50 employees or fewer will get up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 40,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13.
- • Investing in degree-level apprenticeships. At the moment, there aren’t enough opportunities for progression to further learning for apprentices. There is now a £25 million Higher Apprenticeships Fund, to support up to 10,000 degree-level apprenticeships in areas such as aerospace and renewable energy technologies.
- • 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. The programme has been refocused 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 are now required to offer all apprentices teaching in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE.
- • Cutting bureaucracy. Coalition measures to cut red tape for employers taking on apprentices include: piloting a ‘payment by outcomes’ system to eliminate a number of data returns and audit requirements; providing an online plain-English toolkit for employers; streamlining contracting arrangements; committing to no ‘in year’ changes to contracting arrangements, introducing a more proportionate approach to audit and inspection, reducing preparation time for employers; greater use of electronic information to reduce paperwork; and a more streamlined certification process.
Commenting, Greg Hands MP said: “We will only succeed as a country when everyone is given the chance to reach their full potential. We have dramatically increased the number of apprenticeships on offer compared to Labour.
“These record levels of apprenticeships are fantastic news for our country, for Chelsea and Fulham, and most of all for the people whose lives are being transformed by the opportunities they offer.”