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A year into her role as Apprenticeships and Skills Minister, Anne Milton chats to FE News about the career progression route from entry level 2 to level 7 in work based learning.

"I think it's really important." says Anne, "The thought of a smooth path from level 2 right up to level 7 is the stuff of my dreams to be honest, because there in lies the route to social mobility, there in lies the route for young people who maybe didn't necessarily achieve well at school, to get a new start.

"Making that journey as smooth as possible is what we want to achieve." 

Prior to the Levy the biggest home for Apprenticeship was within SMEs Anne talks about her plans to engage more SMEs in the future.

"We have done a lot of work with the big levy employers because they have got a big pot of money to spend. A lot of the early work concentrated on them." Anne continues.

"Right in my sights now are small employers because, actually when you meet a small employer who's employed an apprentice they are evangelical about it. They absolutely love it."

"I think those employers have historically seen an apprentice as a bit of a drain for them. In fact when you speak to employers who have taken somebody on, what you realise from them is how much a small business of just three or four people can benefit from the enthusiasm, the new ideas, the energy that an apprenticeship brings to their business.

"Particularly for businesses that want to grow, I think that's the other key area. It's always a big step for an SME to take that step for growth. Employing an apprentice is a brilliant way to do it."

Please click on the image below to hear what Anne has to say about Apprenticeship levels 3 to 7 and SMEs:

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