Apprenticeships to become an alternative to university
2 Dec 2011
Burberry, Unilever and TNT are among 250 employers that will begin offering degree-level Apprenticeships for the first time under a new scheme to make the on-the-job training programme a viable alternative to university, the Government has revealed.
Vince Cable, Business Secretary, announced he is embarking on creating 19,000 degree-level Apprenticeships, costing £18.7m. The scheme is set to alleviate employers’ concerns that Apprenticeships lack quality and is not seen as a real alternative to university by many youngsters, making it hard to fill places with quality applicants.
Sectors including construction, advanced engineering, insurance and financial services are set to benefit, with a range of big-name employers already signed up to the deal, Mr Cable said.
The funding is not "new money", but comes from a £25m pot for higher Apprenticeships announced in July.
The Government said 250 employers would take part in the scheme initially. Mr Cable said: "Investing in skills is central to our drive to boost business and productivity and make the UK more competitive. By expanding the number of degree-level Apprenticeships for young people, we will put practical learning on a level footing with academic study."
Earlier the Government announced it would review the Apprenticeships system to explore how to make the scheme more useful for employers. The scheme was criticised recently after it emerged thousands of new Apprenticeship places went to existing employees over 25, instead of creating new jobs for young workers.
Experts have also warned the Government's targets mean nothing unless employers actually ramp up the number of schemes they offer – currently just one in eight companies runs the scheme.
Source: The Telegraph