Apprenticeships can be the jewel in the SME crown
By Anthony Clark
Posted 29 August 2012
A government-backed report on apprenticeships by jeweller and social entrepreneur Jason Holt has revealed a lack of awareness among small businesses regarding the benefits of taking on young people.
Holt was commissioned by the government in February to review ways to make apprenticeships simpler and more accessible for small and medium businesses.
His research, now available, points to a lack of awareness of the benefits of taking on apprentices and how to recruit and train them.
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 This is because they have an outdated view of apprenticeships, are often in the dark, and frequently do not receive the specific training provision their apprentices need.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.”
Skills Minister John Hayes welcomed the findings and outlined new measures to improve apprenticeships for SMEs. These include:
Improving communication about schemes through groups who advise small and medium employers, including lawyers and accountants.
Better information for businesses on getting the right type of training for their apprentices.
New standards for training providers in order to improve their performance.
Improving the apprenticeship grant for employers, making it simpler and more accessible.
The scheme provides up to 40,000 grants of £1,500 to encourage and support employers taking on a young apprentice aged 16 to 24. Changes to the £1,500 Grant will include delivering it in a single payment, rather than the current two.
Employers will be able to claim grants for up to 10 apprentices and the scheme will be opened to employers who have not hired an apprentice in the past year. The grant will be made available to businesses with up to 1,000 employees.
Comment on this article.
[ Back ]