• BCC: Apprenticeships great path for students, but system needs reform to boost numbers

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    August 16, 2018
    Commenting on today’s A level results and the apprenticeship statistics released by the Department for Education, Jane Gratton, Head of Business Skills at the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), said:
    “Business people across the country will offer their sincere congratulations to all the students who received their A level results.
    “Right now, UK companies are hungry for work-ready and employable staff to be part of their teams. Students and their families should remember there are many paths to success in the world of work. Apprenticeships are a great opportunity for young people to develop their skills while learning on the job, but to maximise the number of people taking advantage of this route we urgently need to see reform of the system.
    “Once again, we’re seeing a disappointing number in apprenticeship starts due to the shortcomings of the Levy. It’s time to address the barriers and blockages in the system that prevent employers of all sizes from recruiting and training the next generation of apprentices.
    “Employers are crying out for more skilled staff, but they can’t train apprentices if the necessary Standards are not in place or if there is no local provider to deliver the high-quality service they need.
    “For smaller firms, the 10% co-investment requirement has significantly increased the cost of recruiting and training apprentices. On top of the other costs of employment – such as pension auto-enrolment and above-inflation wage increases – it is pricing people out of apprenticeship jobs and development opportunities, and needs to be scrapped urgently.
    “If government, business and providers work together we can create a more flexible system and ensure far greater numbers of young people choose this path to gain the skills and experience they need to kickstart productive careers.”
    Notes to editors:
    The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) sits at the heart of a powerful network of 53 Accredited Chambers of Commerce across the UK, representing thousands of businesses of all sizes and within all sectors. Our Global Business Network connects exporters with nearly 40 markets around the world. For more information, visit: www.britishchambers.org.uk
    The BCC has launched a campaign aimed at eradicating not-spots for mobile voice coverage. Add your not-spot here.
    Media contacts:
    Allan Williams – Head of Press and Communications
    020 7654 5812 / 07920583381
    Orla Hennessy – Press and Communications Manager
    020 7654 5813 / 07825746812
    Laura Barnes, International Marketing Manager
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