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Government announces support for 19,000 new degree-level apprenticeships

01 December 2011

Business secretary Vince Cable has announced government funding in support of thousands of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent Some £18.7m from the Higher Apprenticeship Fund will support the development of 19,000 new Higher Apprenticeships in sectors including construction, advanced engineering, insurance and financial services. Around 250 employers, including Leyland Trucks, Unilever, TNT, and Burberry are set to benefit.

The funding is part of a £25m fund for Higher Apprenticeships announced in July. A second round of bids to the fund will be invited early in the New Year, focusing closely on further areas needed to support economic growth.

Nineteen partnerships comprising employers and training providers will receive a total of £17m, following a competitive bidding process. A further £1.7m has been invested in two new ‘Trailblazer’ projects in information technology and science, engineering and manufacturing, delivering 6,000 Higher Apprenticeships.

Recent reforms to the apprenticeships programme include initiatives to cut bureaucracy, provide financial incentives for small firms to hire apprentices, and reduce the time it takes an employer to employ an apprentice. Provisional data indicates record growth in apprenticeships numbers, with some 440,000 people starting an apprenticeship in 2010/11.

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