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British Rubber & Polyurethane Products Association

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Government outlines SME apprentice support

Posted on 21 March 2014

The government has announced details of its plan to boost the number of apprentices being hired by SME’s across the UK.

In Wednesday’s Budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne said the government would support 100,000 new apprenticeships as part of a drive to get young people into manufacturing.

The Department for Business, Innovations and Skills said yesterday there would be a total of £190m of new money to support the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers (Age), both to help small firms take on more apprentices and to support degree level and post-graduate apprenticeships.

The former will see £170m will be split into two tranches; £85m being made available in 2014/15 and the same amount in 2015/16.

Part of the package will see a grant of £1,500 paid to firms who have not taken on an apprentice up to the first 10 they employ.

Business secretary Vince Cable said Age had been very successful in encouraging smaller businesses to take on their first apprentices.

“With the appetite for apprenticeships growing, this new £170m investment and programme expansion will give a boost to smaller businesses and enable us to meet the higher than anticipated demand for the scheme over the next two years.”

Speaking about the £20m going towards supporting degree and post-graduate apprenticeships Cable added: “We want it to be the new norm that young people either choose to go to university or begin an apprenticeship.

“Additional funding to support degree level apprenticeships will make this a reality and also put universities and vocational education on the same footing.”