In the first Conservative budget since November 1996, Chancellor George Osborne renewed the Government’s commitment to providing 3m new Apprenticeships during the life of this parliament.  The growth in apprenticeships will be funded by the introduction of an Apprenticeship levy on large businesses.

Commenting on the announcement, Jayne Worthington, managing director of The Skills Company, Greater Manchester’s largest Apprenticeship training provider said: “The budget statement is a welcome reassertion of the government’s desire to increase the quality and quantity of Apprenticeships.  The details of how the Apprenticeship levy on businesses will be implemented are still to be worked out, but we are assured that companies that are committed to training will be able to get out more than they put in.”
 
“As young school and college leavers consider the direction they will take on leaving education, Apprenticeships are becoming the preferred choice for more and more young people, including the most able and ambitious.  Gone are the days when Apprenticeships were considered a second rate option for the less academically inclined.”
 
“The financial benefits of an Apprenticeship shouldn’t be underestimated.  Of the 372 vacancies that we currently have across Greater Manchester, well over 100 of them have a starting salary of over £10,000 a year, and when young people and their parents compare that to the average level of debt for a graduate leaving university of over £44,000, it makes an Apprenticeship an even more attractive option.  The Chancellor’s announcement that student maintenance grants will from 2016/17 be replaced by loans will only add to the debt burden for some higher education students.”
 
“Employers of all sizes are also reaping the benefits of the increasing numbers of people choosing an Apprenticeship, with organisations such as the University of Manchester, AXA, Capita Property, Aon Insurance and Manchester City Council all seeking to recruit apprentices this summer.”
 
“For young people who are not quite ready for an apprenticeship, there are traineeships available which provide valuable work experience, help with employability skills, and English and maths for those who need it.  93% of the people on our Traineeship programmes progress on to an Apprenticeship or into a job.”