Apprenticeship expansion launched

The Apprenticeship Expansion Programme trials will provide extra funding to employers who are currently running high quality Apprenticeships.   It aims to develop and test models which will allow employers to recruit and train additional apprentices. The trials will help the apprentices secure employment with employers in the supply chain or elsewhere in the wider sector. This expansion will not only serve to meet the current high demand for Apprenticeship positions, but also prove a key factor in meeting the Government’s target of ensuring 400,000 apprentices in England by 2020.
The new funding is available to large businesses and groups of small and medium sized businesses who have a track record of delivering high quality Apprenticeship programmes. Financial support will be available to meet the additional costs associated with the trails such as the wage, training and management costs of learners. Having almost trebled the number of young people and adults starting high quality Apprenticeships, the Learning and Skills Council plans to build on this success by working collaboratively with employers to deliver Apprenticeships in a more innovative and flexible manner.
Commenting on the new trial David Way, National Director of Apprenticeships at the LSC said “Given the current economic slowdown it is important that companies continue training their staff to maintain productivity and a competitive edge.  Employing apprentices is an ideal way for businesses to position themselves as leaders for the recovery. The new funding will make it easier for businesses to do this and provide the opportunity for industry sectors to successfully fill their existing skills gaps”
Businesses that are keen to take part in the trial should express their interest and contact the Learning and Skills Council by calling 024 7682 3668 or visiting
The deadline for expressions of interest is 16 January 2009.