Following advice in a report from social entrepreneur Jason Holt, published yesterday, the Government has introduced measures to promote apprenticeships and make it easier for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take on apprentices.
The government commissioned the Holt Report - Making apprenticeships more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises - in February to advise them on what more could be done to help SMEs take on apprentices. Drawing on his discussions with small firms, Jason Holt points to a lack of awareness among small businesses about the benefits of taking on apprentices and how to recruit and train them.
In response, the Skills Minister John Hayes outlined new measures including:
- Work with the people that SMEs look to for advice, including lawyers and accountants, to promote apprenticeships to their SME customers
- Enable SMEs to get their apprentices the training they need, by providing better information on availability and investigating how to give them a greater say in developing the skills they need
- Improve the performance of providers of training to SMEs by agreeing standards and the consequences of not meeting them
- Improve the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers by making it simpler and more accessible to more employers.
The government is already providing up to 40,000 grants of £1,500 each to encourage smaller employers to take on new young apprentices.
On publication of his report, Jason Holt said, “Whilst apprenticeships offer undoubted growth opportunities for businesses, not enough SMEs are taking advantage. This is because they have an outdated view of apprenticeships, are often in the dark, and frequently do not receive the specific training provision their apprentices need. My recommendations are intended to address these issues with Government, employers and providers all playing a part.”
Click here to download Making apprenticeships more accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises: a review by Jason Holt.
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