by chrislucas on 24 March, 2014
Another Lib Dem win in last week’s budget was a huge boost to apprenticeships, with at least 100,000 new apprentices being created over the next two years. £85m has been allocated for both 2014-15 and 2015-16 to extend the Apprenticeship Grants for Employers scheme, giving businesses incentive payments to take on apprentices and £20m to support apprenticeships up to postgraduate level (i.e. degree and masters level apprenticeships).
Since 2010, as part of the coalition government, the Lib Dems have overseen the creation of 1.6m apprenticeships. In Bath there are 450 apprenticeships, 270 of them are on level two (Intermediate Apprenticeships) schemes, although we could obviously do with more as there is huge demand from our young people wanting to take on an apprenticeship. Unfortunately there are not nearly enough employers coming forward to offer them. The new funding announced last week will provide over 100,000 additional incentive payments under the scheme – providing a major boost to the job prospects of young people. Introducing degree and masters level apprenticeships will give more young people the opportunity to develop their skills to a higher level, where there are currently fewer available qualifications.
Labour claimed in a policy review paper that level two apprenticeships are “of no value to either employers or learners”, and outrageously went on to say that scrapping them “would minimise deadweight”. The paper went on to say that they would cut 60% of the schemes if they were to govern again.
As the party of opportunity, the Lib Dems will continue to fight for improved and increased apprenticeship opportunities for our young people here in Bath.
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