Autumn spending review

Government to clarify apprentice plan in spending review

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Osborne is expected to clarify to government's apprentices plan in his autumn spending review
Osborne is expected to clarify to government's apprentices plan in his autumn spending review

Related tags: Apprenticeship

The government will clarify exactly how it plans to reach its target of 3M more apprentices during the lifetime of this parliament in Chancellor George Osborne’s autumn spending review on Wednesday (November 25), according to business secretary Sajid Javid.

Javid’s comments follow claims British businesses were “totally in the dark”​ over how the Conservative government planned to meet its objective by science, engineering, marketing and technologies alliance Semta.

This will come as a welcome announcement for food and drink manufacturers, with the industry needing 109,000 new recruits to replace those set to retire by 2022.

3M apprentices plan

Osborne will reveal how the government plans to hit its 3M target and how it will ensure the quality of apprentices will improve, Javid told the Skills Show at the NEC in Birmingham last week (November 19).

“Companies have been crying out for people with the right skills,”​ he said. “We need more skilled people which is why apprenticeships are so good. It’s a real job but at the same time you are learning towards a proper, recognised qualification which can lead on to so many opportunities.”

Ann Watson, Semta ceo

​British business is totally in the dark as to what changes are in the pipeline and when they may be implemented.”

He said it was important that the government achieved its target of 3M new apprenticeships over the lifetime of this parliament but that it was not just about the numbers. The quality has to be right.

In the past five years a lot more businesses of all sizes and from all sectors have taken on apprentices, Javid added.

Need to know details

Semta applauded the government’s apprenticeship plan but said industry needed to know details of the plan as soon as possible. 

“Our research is unequivocal – British business is totally in the dark as to what changes are in the pipeline and when they may be implemented,”​ its ceo Ann Watson said.

“Everything seems to be hanging on some kind of announcement around the much anticipated comprehensive spending review.”

Related topics: People & Skills

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