Government introduces Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships fund

A £25 million government fund will support up to 10,000 Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.

The fund, announced by prime minister David Cameron after visiting Jaguar Land Rover in the Midlands, is planned to give firms in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information technology and engineering the hi-tech skills they need to grow.

The Higher Apprenticeships Fund will support the expansion of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent in companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises.

Industry representatives are invited to bid to the fund, which will be delivered via the National Apprenticeship Service. The new apprenticeships will commence from October 2011.

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.’

Business secretary Vince Cable added, ‘As I work with the business community to rebalance and grow the economy, apprenticeships will increasingly deliver not just basic training, but also the high level, high tech skills that drive growth.

‘The Higher Apprenticeships Fund is a crucial step towards placing vocational learning on a par with academic study, giving bright youngsters the opportunity to work with and build the most dynamic firms in the country.’

See also: The benefits of employing apprentices for small companies