David Cameron has announced details of a £25m fund that will support up to 10,000 advanced and higher apprenticeships in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, IT and engineering. External site: [Higher Apprenticeship Fund prospectus](http://www.apprenticeships.org.uk/highers) External site: [The Growth Review](http://www.bis.gov.uk/growth) External site: [Growth and Innovation Fund](http://www.bis.gov.uk/news/topstories/2011/Mar/growth-and-innovation-fund)
The Higher Apprenticeships Fund will support the expansion of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent in companies, particularly SMEs, where there is unmet demand for the higher level skills that are necessary to create additional jobs and growth.
On a visit to the Jaguar Land Rover plant in the Midlands today, Mr Cameron said:
I am determined that this government should be the most pro-business there has been, with one purpose and one goal: creating jobs and growth.
It is therefore crucial that we build up the skills in this country that our businesses need and that will fuel long term growth. That is why despite some difficult decisions on spending we are increasing the number of apprenticeships to record levels.
We are investing in apprenticeships because we know they work - they are good for people who want to get ahead, good for business and good for the country.
The Fund is part of a package of additional investment in apprenticeships totalling £180m, announced in this year’s Budget. The Government is committed to funding some 360,000 apprenticeships this financial year alone.
The Fund will build on support offered to business through the Growth and Innovation Fund and the Growth Review, which are designed to target Government support on firms and sectors which will benefit most from additional investment in skills training.
The Higher Apprenticeships Fund is open to bids from companies and industry representatives from today.