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In February 2012, the Education and Business Secretaries commissioned jeweller and social entrepreneur Jason Holt to report on measures that would make it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to take on apprentices. The report has now been published and the Skills Minister John Hayes has outlined the measures the Government intends to take to further this aim.
In particular, the report points to a lack of awareness among small businesses of the benefits of taking on apprentices and how to recruit and train them.
The new measures will see the Government:
- work with the people that SMEs look to for advice, including lawyers and accountants, to promote apprenticeships to their SME customers;
- enable SMEs to provide apprentices with the training they need, by offering better information on availability and investigating how to give them a greater say in developing the skills they need;
- improve the performance of providers of training to SMEs by agreeing standards and the consequences of not meeting them; and
- improve the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers by making it simpler and more accessible to more employers.