Govt launches first apprentice incentive as the fifth Apprentice Week gets underway
This is said to be the biggest Apprenticeship Week to-date, with over 500 events across the country celebrating the achievements of learners and employers.
Skillset (the sector skills council for the creative industries) in partnership with the National Apprenticeships Service (NAS), and supported by the Government, have pledged to work with 300 businesses to deliver 500 apprenticeships. The first places are set to be offered in September 2012.
Many of these businesses are small firms that, from next week, will be able to apply for an incentive payment of £1,500 to take on their first apprentice in 2012/13. This scheme was announced by the Government in November last year.
Vince Cable, Business Secretary, had this to say: “Apprenticeships are at the centre of the Government’s skills policy because we know that they work. Not only do they provide individuals with the skills they need for prosperous and rewarding careers, they also boost businesses’ profits and drive growth in the wider economy.
“We are providing extra help to enable small employers to hire their first apprentices. We will also continue to develop new advanced and higher-level apprenticeships to deliver the world-class skills individuals and firms need to get ahead."
The scale of Apprenticeship Week reflects the dramatic rise in the number of businesses that are taking on apprentices. Official statistics released last week show that there were 457,200 apprenticeships starts in 2010/11 – an increase of 63.5% on 2009/10. This growth was spread across all regions and sectors.
Has taking on an apprentice helped your business grow? Let us know your experiences in the comments.