Apprenticeships up by 54 per cent in The Cotswolds

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Local MP, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown has welcomed the increase in the number of apprenticeships in The Cotswolds.

The Conservatives have delivered a record number of apprenticeships in England, with half a million people starting an apprenticeship last year. Thanks to the Government’s investment, 142 more young people in England are starting an apprenticeship every single day.

In The Cotswolds:

• 540 people started an apprenticeship last year.
• That’s an increase of 190 apprentices compared to Labour’s last year in power.
• The number of people starting an apprenticeship has increased by 54 per cent.

Mr Clifton-Brown said:

“It is fantastic that 540 people in The Cotswolds started an apprenticeship last year. 190 more people are now benefiting from apprenticeships thanks to the Conservatives.

“We are getting behind people who work hard and want to get on in life. Apprenticeships are a great way to help people get the skills they need to make a better future for themselves.

“I want many more people in The Cotswolds to have the chance to earn and learn at the same time as an apprentice. I would urge everyone to think about whether they can benefit from the many apprenticeship opportunities that are now available.”

Official statistics on the number of apprenticeships have been published today by the Data Service (The Data Service, Quarterly Statistical First Release: Post-16 Education & Skills: Learner Participation, Outcomes and Level of Highest Qualification Held, 11 October 2012, link).

The National picture

The release includes provisional statistics for the academic year 2011-12 for England. They show:

• A record half a million people started an apprenticeship last year. 502,500 people in England started an apprenticeship in 2011-12. This is a record number and the first time ever that more than half a million people have started an apprenticeship in one year.

• An 80 per cent increase in apprenticeships under this Government. 222,800 more people started an apprenticeship in 2011-12 compared to 2009-10, Labour’s last year in power. This represents an 80 per cent increase in the number of people starting an apprenticeship under the Coalition.

• 142 more young apprentices every single day. The number of people aged under 25 starting an apprenticeship increased by 52,000 between 2009-10 and 2011-12. This is equivalent to an extra 142 young apprentices every day.

• Advanced and Higher apprenticeships see the biggest increases. More than double the number of people are now starting Advanced and Higher apprenticeships. Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the number of people starting an Advanced apprenticeship increased by 105 per cent, while the number starting a Higher (or degree-level) apprenticeship increased by 133 per cent.

Although these provisional statistics are subject to revision, the official release states that ‘revisions are typically upward’.

What the Government is doing

• Investing in more apprenticeships. Over the lifetime of this parliament, we will fund 250,000 more apprenticeships than the last government planned (Hansard, 23 March 2011, Col. 961).

• Cash bonuses for small companies taking on young apprentices. We are offering employers with 50 employees or fewer up to £1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24. This will support up to 40,000 new apprenticeships in 2012/13 (BIS Press Release, 7 February 2012, link).

• Investing in degree-level apprenticeships. At the moment, there aren’t enough opportunities for progression to further learning for apprentices. That is why we have established a £25 million Higher Apprenticeships Fund, to support up to 10,000 degree-level apprenticeships in areas such as aerospace and renewable energy technologies (BIS Press Release, 22 July 2011, link).

• Making it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice. The National Apprenticeships Service and training providers will be required to ensure that every employer is able to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice (BIS Press Release, 16 November 2011, link).

• Targeting apprenticeships where they are needed. We are renewing the programme’s focus on younger adults, new employees, higher level qualifications and particular sectors where apprenticeships can make the greatest impact (BIS Press Release, 16 November 2011, link).

• Equipping apprentices with basic skills. Apprenticeship providers are now required to offer all apprentices teaching in English and Maths up to the standard of a good GCSE (BIS Press Release, 16 November 2011, link).

• Cutting bureaucracy. Coalition measures to cut red tape for employers taking on apprentices include: piloting a ‘payment by outcomes’ system to eliminate a number of data returns and audit requirements; providing an online plain-English toolkit for employers; streamlining contracting arrangements; committing to no ‘in year’ changes to contracting arrangements, introducing a more proportionate approach to audit and inspection, reducing preparation time for employers; greater use of electronic information to reduce paperwork; and a more streamlined certification process (BIS Press Release, 6 September 2011, link).

Source:Office of Geoffrey Clifton Brown MP Member of Parliament for The Cotswolds

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