Monday, July 25, 2011

News: Boost for advanced manufacturing apprenticeships


The government has announced details of a £25m fund that will support up to 10,000 Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships, giving firms in sectors such as advanced manufacturing and engineering, the hi-tech skills they need to grow.

The Higher Apprenticeships Fund will support the expansion of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent in companies, particularly SMEs, where there is unmet demand for the higher level skills that are necessary to create additional jobs and growth.

Industry representatives are invited to bid to the fund, which will be delivered via the National Apprenticeship Service and will commence from October 2011.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: "I am determined that this government should be the most pro-business there has been, with one purpose and one goal: creating jobs and growth.

"It is therefore crucial that we build up the skills in this country that our businesses need and that will fuel long term growth. That is why despite some difficult decisions on spending we are increasing the number of apprenticeships to record levels.

"We are investing in apprenticeships because we know they work - they are good for people who want to get ahead, good for business and good for the country."

Business Secretary Vince Cable added: "As I work with the business community to rebalance and grow the economy, apprenticeships will increasingly deliver not just basic training, but also the high level, high tech skills that drive growth. The Higher Apprenticeships Fund is a crucial step towards placing vocational learning on a par with academic study, giving bright youngsters the opportunity to work with and build the most dynamic firms in the country."

Plans are currently being developed for a Advanced Manufacturing Institute Training Centre under a collaboration between the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham and Sheffield's two universities. A bid has been submitted to the Department for Education and if successful, the institute could create 200 apprenticeships per year by 2013.

In addition, the government also announced that following the first round of applications to the £50m Growth and Innovation Fund, innovative proposals to deliver world class training in seven leading industries have been selected for further development.

The existing National Skills Academies are to be expanded, with the National Skills Academy for Nuclear embracing nuclear manufacturing. They will draw on joint funding from employers and the Government, via the Skills Funding Agency.

Apprenticeships website


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