Government urges public sector to support apprentices

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has announced a consultation will be held on new measures to commit 2.3 per cent of vacancies in large public sector bodies to apprentices.

The changes are intended to create thousands more apprenticeships in various divisions of the public sector, from the Civil Service to the NHS, resulting in more opportunities for young people.

The Civil Service apprenticeship fast-track scheme is already a real alternative to university for school leavers and non-graduates, while the British Army has recently welcomed its 80,000th apprentice.

Nick Boles, Skills Minister, said: “Our apprenticeships revolution has already given 2.4 million people the chance to learn the skills they need to get on in life, with businesses leading the way.

“Now it’s time for the public sector to step up and give those same opportunities as we turbo charge our drive to give youngsters the best start to working life."

The government’s target aims to have a minimum of 2.3 per cent of apprentice workers starting each year in larger public sector bodies in England. The move is part of the Enterprise Bill and will apply to public sector bodies with 250 or more employees in England.

The move is also part of the government’s target to reach three million apprenticeship starts by 2020 and the public sector focus has been established as a result of it delivering fewer apprenticeships than the private sector.