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CBI calls for apprenticeships funding

CBI calls for apprenticeships funding

Category: Economy

Updated: 24/08/2009
First Published: 24/08/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

More must be done to establish new apprenticeships, with a chunk of the Government's recruitment subsidy used to fund it, the CBI has said.

A £500 million recruitment programme has been established, but the business organisation says that £125 million of it should be used to subsidise 50,000 new apprenticeship positions.

Under the proposals, firms would receive an average sum of £2,500 to help towards the cost of training each new apprentice, while businesses that do not have a history of taking on young workers would be encouraged to so.

Furthermore, the CBI has recommended an additional £25 million be set aside for entice firms to train more apprentices than they actually need, to improve their chances elsewhere in the sector.

The call comes against a backdrop of the large scale unemployment amongst 16 to 24 year olds in the UK, which was recently measured at 928,000 – almost one in five people in the age group.

There are fears that number could grow as thousands of university leavers flood an already depleted market. Telecoms giant, BT, recently became the latest firm to axe its graduate scheme, citing the recession as the reason.

"Young people leaving education this summer face the toughest job market in a generation.

"We know from previous recessions that a lack of employment after leaving education can damage young people's long term prospects at a critical point, as they move from education to the world of work," said CBI director general, Richard Lambert.

The plans also include recommendations to raise the minimum wage for apprenticeships to make entering the workplace more enticing, and for firms to offer more young people work experience.

"Business also needs to support young people by offering more apprenticeships, internships, work experience and mentoring opportunities," Mr Lambert added.

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