Business leaders from 10 industry associations have called on Trade and Industry Secretary Margaret Beckett to continue funding a scheme which each year gives 40,000 teachers experience of industry.
Under the Teacher Placement Service 250,000 teachers have undergone placements with local firms since 1989.
The scheme is intended to improve teachers’ understanding of industry and lead to better careers advice for schoolchildren.
It receives £2m annually from the Single Regeneration Budget. Originally set up as a three-year DTI initiative, its life has been extended twice before. Core funding is due to end next March.
Organisations including the Engineering Employers’ Federation, the Institute of Directors, the Society of British Aerospace Companies and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders have signed a joint letter to the Government in support of the scheme.
The letter stresses the `pressing need for collaboration between industry and education to support UK competitiveness.
`We believe it is essential that the Government continues to support this scheme… the benefits of which will be cascaded to all young people.’
Other signatories are British Chambers of Commerce, The Confederation of Group Training Schemes, the Mechanical and Metal Trades Confederation, the Federation of the Electronics Industry, the Federation of Small Businesses, and the Federation of British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association.