From education to employment

Government awards £18.7m for 19,000 Higher Apprenticeships

Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills

The government yesterday announced that £18.7m from its Higher Apprenticeship Fund will be provided to around 250 employers to deliver skills most critical to economic growth.

Employers including Unilever, Burberry and Leyland Trucks have won access to the grants – part of the £25m fund for Higher Apprenticeships announced in July – to create places for around 19,000 degree-equivalent apprentices.

“Investing in skills is central to our drive to boost business and productivity and make the UK more competitive,” said Business Secretary Vince Cable.

“By radically expanding the number of degree level Apprenticeships for young people, we will put practical learning on a level footing with academic study.  This is an essential step that will help rebalance our economy and build a society in which opportunity and reward are fairly and productively distributed.”

In total, 19 partnerships comprising employers and training providers will take a share of £17m to roll out the Apprenticeships. A further £1.7m will be injected into two IT, science, engineering and manufacturing projects that will deliver 6,000 Higher Apprenticeships.

Skills Minister John Hayes said:

“By reviving Apprenticeships the Government has started to build a world class skills system to rival our country’s great reputation for academic excellence.

“We’ve driven up quality across the board, more than doubled the number of new advanced apprenticeships, created new routes into higher levels of practical learning and given employers more control of how the training budget is spent. We’re now targeting resources even more closely on the skills, firms and sectors that will lead economic recovery.”

The government will invite second round bids for the £25m Higher Apprenticeships fund early next year.

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