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David Cameron announced £250m boost for skills training

The Prime Minister has announced a new plan which will give businesses the power to design, develop and purchase the vocational training they need. This announcement forms part of the government’s growth review.

In the New Year employers will be invited to bid for a share of the £250 million government fund. It will route public investment directly to employers – enabling them to invest in the training they actually need.

The competitive fund will route public investment directly to employers and will be backed by significant resources from existing skills budgets. Funding for 2012/13 will be up to £50m, with an additional £200m in the second year – subject to evidence of high-quality proposals from employers and ongoing evaluation.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“I know times are tough – especially for young people – who are trying to get their foot in the door and launch their career. That is why I am determined to do all that we can to give people the very best skills, training and opportunities to succeed; and why despite tough spending decisions we are investing in record number of apprenticeships.

“We are seeing an incredible take up of these apprenticeship places. I want that to continue, which is why we are taking action to make it easier to take on apprentices, and now we are giving employers the power to take control of the training so that it best meets the skills they need.

“I hope this radical new approach will encourage even more employers to take on apprentices and ensure that the UK workforce has the skills we need to boost growth.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“Skills are central to the UK economy and our long-term competitiveness. Despite some good progress our system needs more flexibility and we are treading water by international standards.

“We have to fundamentally alter the relationship between employers and the state – giving employers the space and opportunity for greater ownership of the vocational skills agenda, including the chance to bid for direct control of public funds. This will encourage greater competition in the market as we strive for sustainable growth.”

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Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

 

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Vince Cable guarantees cash boost for firms taking on apprentices

Vince Cable has announced new measures to ensure more young people benefit from an apprenticeship, and to help employers gain the skilled workers they need to grow.

As part of the Government’s Plan for Growth, Ministers are taking action to make it easier for companies to take on apprentices, and ensure that the quality of apprenticeships is continually improved.

 

The main measures to boost apprenticeships are:

  • To offer employers with up to 50 employees an incentive payment of up to £1,500. This will support up to 20,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13.
  • To simplify processes to make 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 in a position to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice. Health and safety requirements will be streamlined so that there are no additional demands on employers that already meet national standards.
  • There will be a renewed focus on targeting the programme where apprenticeships deliver greatest value – including on younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where they can make the greatest impact.
  • Apprenticeship providers will be required to offer training in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE (level 2) for all apprenticeships.

 

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Read the Government’s Plan for Growth

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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Association of Employment and Learning Providers

Press release – 16 November 2011

Latest youth unemployment data

 

‘Many NEETS need preparatory training before starting an apprenticeship’, say training providers

 

The body that represents training providers who train over 70% of apprentices in England has released the following statement in response to the government’s announcements today on tackling youth unemployment and changes to the apprenticeship programme.

 

Graham Hoyle OBE, chief executive of the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), said:

 

“Independent training organisations have worked hard with employers over the past 18 months to significantly increase the number of young people taking up apprenticeships as well as improve the skills of the adult workforce.  We believe that today’s announcements represent a good response to the feedback that AELP members have been offering on what would persuade more businesses to sign up to the programme.  It is also important that we expand the capacity of preparatory training programmes to enable more young people who left school with few or no qualifications to embark on a full apprenticeship.”   

 

AELP has sent to BIS and the Treasury a pre-Autumn Statement submission on apprenticeships and in it, the association has pointed out that the apprenticeship programme, relaunched in 1994, was never set up exclusively for the benefit of young people as a form of job creation.

 

The submission says: “The apprenticeship brand must not be damagingly stretched by making it a programme for the non-employed or NEETs who are still too far away from meeting the often demanding selection criteria quite properly laid down by employers.  These individuals need flexible preparatory programmes to enable them to enter employed apprenticeships when both ready and employable.”

 

The submission also addresses other misunderstandings and misconceptions about the programme.

 

The full AELP submission can be read here:

http://www.aelp.org.uk/news/policies/details/what-are-apprenticeships-for/

 

Two additional points are worth bearing in mind, especially in the current economic climate when other indicators are either flat-lining or heading south.  Firstly, over 262,000 young people in the 16 to 24 age group started an apprenticeship in 2010-11 – a 15.9% increase on the previous year – and these apprenticeships came with a contract of employment at a local business.  Secondly, a record number of apprentices are completing their programmes.  The success rate is now approaching 75% which compares favourably with the best in Europe.

 

ENDS

 

Contact Aidan Relf on 07710 305182

 

Notes to editors

 

1. About AELP

The Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) is the leading trade association for vocational learning and employment providers in Britain.  The majority of its 600+ members are independent private, not-for-profit and voluntary sector training and employment services organisations.  Membership is open to any provider committed to quality provision and it includes over 50 FE colleges involved in work based learning.

 

Over 70% of Apprenticeships in England are delivered by AELP members.  More than 70% of the Work Programme prime contractors are AELP members with many other members delivering the programme as sub-contractors.   AELP providers currently engage with almost 300,000 employers across the country and last year they helped 117,240 learners complete an apprenticeship.  184,000 apprentices of all ages are currently on AELP members’ programmes.  182,420 trainees gained stand-alone NVQs and achieved basic skills on members’ programmes in 2010-11.  8,730 young people obtained jobs through the Entry to Employment programme, thanks to AELP members who currently have 24,190 young people on a Foundation Learning programme.

 

Web: www.aelp.org.uk

Twitter: @AELPUK

 

 

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Vince Cable announced employer led projects as part of the Growth and Innovation Fund

Following the first round of applications to the £50m Growth and Innovation Fund, innovative proposals to deliver world class training in seven leading industries have been selected for further development.

  • Business planning will now get under way for a new National Skills Academy for Health, which will be led by the Skills for Health Sector Skills Council.
  • Plans are being developed for existing National Skills Academies to be expanded, with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear embracing nuclear manufacturing and the National Skills Academy for Creative and Cultural Skills expanding into the jewellery, design and heritage industries.
  • Specific projects with joint employer and public funding are being initiated to boost specialist skills in the fitness and playwork industries.

The above projects will draw on joint funding from employers and the Government, via the Skills Funding Agency.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said:

“This Government wants business to lead the creation of a world class skills system. I’m pleased that employers have responded by coming forward with innovative ideas for the Growth and Innovation Fund. The fund will target public money, investing alongside business, to deliver workforce skills in new and creative ways.”

Click for more information about the Growth and Innovation Fund

Website: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

 

Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support

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BAE Systems

After the announcement that BAE are to cut nearly 3000 jobs, Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“This news from BAE Systems will be a serious knock to the individuals and communities affected.

“My officials and the BIS local teams are already in touch with the company, local authorities and local enterprise partnerships to make sure that everything possible is done to help those affected at Brough, Warton, Samlesbury and other sites.

“Last year I set up the Skills and Jobs Retention Group, chaired by Allan Cook, to help skilled workers find new jobs in UK manufacturing. The Group will ensure that the shortage of engineers in UK manufacturing is not exacerbated by the loss of talented people from companies like BAE Systems.

“The Group has set up a new national web based system to make it easier for companies to recruit skilled workers who have been made redundant and the JobCentre Plus Rapid Response Service is also on hand to provide a range of support measures.”

Website: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Source: http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Sep/bae-statement

 

Amanda Frewin

Research and Project support

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New EU job rights set to derail British economic recovery

Concerns have been raised that Britain’s economic recovery is set to be undermined  by new European employment laws that will cost companies almost £2bn a year. The business secretary Dr. Vince Cable has agreed to controversial European Directive plans to give agency workers the same rights as full-time employees of British companies.

Analysis by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills has revealed that it will cost firms more than £1.8billion a year. This has led to some firms warning that they will have to cut jobs.

The new laws will give more than one million agency workers the same holiday time, pay, maternity leave and other perks and will come into force next month. In effect  agency workers will be treated as full time workers after 12 weeks.

Comment

yippee…. this is good news for workers…. but it is potentially bad news for business…. how do we square these sorts of circles?

Our inclination is that this is not the time to be placing more burdens on business… not yet not now.

…by the same token, this is the time to be helping workers..mmm? indeed

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