Vince Cable launches the biggest ever Apprenticeship Week.
The week is on track to be the biggest Apprenticeship Week to date, with over 500 events across the country celebrating the achievements of learners and employers.
You can follow the conversation and events on Twitter using the hashtag #NAW2012
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 in industries such as fashion, media and design to deliver 500 apprenticeships. The first places are set to be offered in September 2012.
Many of these businesses are small firms who 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 said:
“I am very proud of the fact that at a time of financial constraint this Government has prioritised investment in apprenticeships. This has led to the creation of record numbers of apprenticeships combined with tough new standards to drive up quality.
“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.
“I’m pleased that the creative industries recognise this and we support all the work they are doing to increase the number of apprenticeships in the sector, particularly in small businesses.
“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.”
Apprenticeship Week is supported by a huge range of organisations including: employers, apprentices, media, business and sector organisations, learning providers, colleges and schools.
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 per cent on 2009/10.