NEW measures to make it easier for small businesses to recruit apprentices and drive improved standards of training have been welcomed by Semta, the sector skills council for science, engineering and manufacturing.
The Government has said it will seek to increase awareness among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of the benefits of apprenticeships.
It has also pledged to make support for small businesses taking on apprentices simpler and more accessible, following a report from jeweller and social entrepreneur Jason Holt, published this week.
Lynn Tomkins, Semta’s UK operations director, said: “Manufacturing employers will welcome these recommendations.
“The manufacturing industry has a long and proud history of investing in apprenticeship programmes but there are still too few SMEs in the supply chain taking them on.
“Semta is already ahead of target in achieving its ambition to double the number of apprenticeships in the sector at Level 3 and above with a particular focus on SMEs.
“Funding is a particular issue for SMEs but we welcome the relaxation of the Apprenticeship AGE Grant rules which should act as an incentive for SMEs to take on a young apprentice.”