UK announces schemes to boost apprenticeships

Three schemes designed to boost the number of apprenticeships have been announced by UK prime minister David Cameron.

First, the government is inviting businesses, universities and training providers to bid for a share of £6m from the Higher Apprenticeship Fund.

Also on offer is 40,000 £1,500 bursaries for any small or medium-sized business who take on an apprentice aged 16-24. 

Finally, businesses are to be given ‘direct access’ to a £250m fund to boost skills in their workplace.

‘Higher-level apprenticeships are equivalent to a degree,’ said Richard Grice, managing director of Pera Training, a provider of manufacturing apprenticeships. ‘They provide the apprentice with some of the toughest and well-respected qualifications in the world, and at the same time allow companies to bring on their most able and promising employees.

‘They are increasingly being seen by major employees as the most effective way to ensure they have the necessary skills to compete and win in the global market.’