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Great Business Debate welcomes back the apprentice

The Apprentice is back! Tonight, another 18 candidates kick off the competition to become Lord Sugar’s new apprentice. But are enough businesses following Lord Sugar’s lead and offering young people a chance to become #theapprentice?

Lord Sugar is about to take on his eleventh apprentice. Last year around 375,000 people started an apprenticeship – in everything from engineering and manufacturing to health and social care. That’s enough apprentices to fill Wembley Stadium over four times.

“Businesses back top quality apprenticeships recognising the benefits of the skills and knowledge that apprentices can bring to their business”

Businesses back top quality apprenticeships recognising the benefits of the skills and knowledge that apprentices can bring to their business. And it’s not just words, it’s a commitment backed by investment: business spends over £40 billion on training every year. That’s more than ten times the amount the government will spend in 2015–16 on adult learning and further education.

Soon all large employers – maybe even Lord Sugar’s Viglen – will have to start paying an Apprenticeship Levy. That’s an additional charge on top of the wage bill – to help fund apprenticeships across the UK.

Business wants to develop young people with the skills our economy needs and the CBI believes the levy must be carefully designed to ensure that it delivers this outcome.

The greatest benefit for companies and individuals comes from training that is relevant to the skills that businesses need. Making the scheme flexible enough for employers to direct the funding to where it would have the greatest benefit would help to ensure that schemes work for all apprentices – not just those who survive Lord Sugar’s boardroom.

So should more employers give people a step on the ladder with apprenticeships? How do we make sure they are getting the skills they need to start their career? Let us know in the comments below

 


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