The move is designed to boost economic growth and ensure that the UK workforce has the skills that businesses require.
In the New Year employers will be invited to bid for a share of the new £250 million government fund. It will route public investment directly to employers - enabling them to invest in the training they need.
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.
The vision of greater employer ownership has been championed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) - a Non-Departmental Public Body that provides strategic leadership on skills and employment issues.
The Government expects to issue a formal prospectus on the fund jointly with UKCES early in 2012 so that projects can begin later in the year.
Today’s announcements are part of the Government’s growth review. Building on the programme of reforms set out in the first Plan for Growth the next stage of the review is focusing on education and skills, infrastructure, logistics, mid-sized businesses, rural economy and open data. More details and actions will be announced later this month.
External site: UK Commission for Employment and Skills
External site: Growth Review - HM Treasury website