All businesses offering 16 to 18 year olds apprenticeships will now have to keep them for 12 months, while apprenticeships for those aged over 19 will last between one and four years.

The new rules will be enforced across the country from August this year, Skills Minister John Hayes will announce tomorrow. He said: “The majority of apprenticeships are the gold standard in vocational training. They boost ­individuals’ life chances and build the skills that drive growth.”

This week a new grant to encourage small and medium-size businesses to take on apprentices will be available.

Up to 40,000 Apprenticeship Grants will be on offer to companies employing fewer than 250 employees, to the value of £1,500. The cash will be given when they recruit their first apprentice, aged 16 to 24. David Way, chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, said: “We need to ensure that all apprenticeships are high quality. By ensuring they last between one and four years, we are not only giving employers what they say they want but also giving confidence back to everyone who has questioned the growth in shorter apprenticeships.”

The majority of apprenticeships are the gold standard in vocational training
Skills Minister John Hayes

The new scheme would, like the BBC’s The Apprentice, guarantee a job to any youngster taking part in it. The eighth series of the show, starring Lord Sugar and Karren Brady, kicked off last month.

Paul Champion
Strategic Project Manager

Mobile: 07540 704920

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