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£65 million to launch New Skills Accelerator programme

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Launched by the Education Secretary @GavinWilliamson, the Skills Accelerator programme will help build stronger partnerships between local employer groups, such as Chambers of Commerce, colleges and other providers to make sure communities are getting the training needed to meet local skills gaps.

The new Skills Accelerator incorporates Local Skills Improvement Plans and the £65 million Strategic Development Fund, which were first announced in the Skills for Jobs White Paper.

The Skills Accelerator will enable and enhance strategic partnerships between employers and post-16 providers to help shape future technical skills provision. Those interested will have access to the £65 million Strategic Development Fund to develop and deliver plans in pilot areas in 2021-22.

Alongside today’s flexi-job apprenticeship consultation and new Skills Accelerator, work is ongoing with businesses of all sizes to support them to offer more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities, so employers and individuals can access the skills they need to succeed and help the country to build back better from the pandemic.

To help with this the government is already offering cash incentives for employers of £3,000 for each new apprentice they take on until the end of September.

£7 million fund to create and test new flexi-apprenticeships schemes

In July employers will be invited to bid for a share of a £7 million fund to create and test new flexi-apprenticeships schemes, with the first approved flexi-job apprenticeships expected to start in January 2022.

Sectors including agriculture, creative industries and construction will soon be able to offer more flexible apprenticeship opportunities through the flexi job apprenticeships scheme.

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Everything you need to know about flexi job apprenticeships:

A consultation has been launched on flexi job apprenticeships

The consultation launched today will ask people how the scheme could potentially work.

Education Secretary @GavinWilliamson tells @SkyNews how flexible apprenticeships will help create pathways into working in industries where full-time employment is less common, such as film and TV. #PlanForJobspic.twitter.com/cn8qP9rTn9

— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) April 20, 2021

Employer groups and colleges have been invited to apply to pilot, develop and deliver tailored skills plans. This will ensure the technical training on offer meets the need of employers and local communities.

The consultation builds on the Skills for Jobs White Paper, which will put employers at the heart of plans to make sure people have the skills they need to get the jobs they want.

Certain sectors will be able to offer more flexible opportunities

Apprenticeships are at least 12 months long, so some sectors with flexible employment patterns and short-term roles, such as agriculture, construction and creative sectors including TV, film and theatre production, have found it challenging to create enough opportunities. The new flexi-job apprenticeship schemes would enable an apprentice to work across a range of projects and with different employers to gain the full skills and experience they need to complete their programme.

This could include film, TV and theatre production, with one apprentice now being able to work on different productions during their apprenticeship.

The first flexi-job apprenticeships are expected to start next January.

Flexible apprenticeships will help people looking to work in creative industries get a foot on the ladder.

CEO of @UKScreenSkills Seetha Kumar says their pilot programme will provide valuable insight into this new scheme #PlanForJobspic.twitter.com/Rt3B2KSg00

— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) April 20, 2021

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