Funding for apprenticeships to aid small businesses and postgraduates

In the Budget statement the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced new funding packages to further encourage small businesses to take on more apprentices and to support degree level and postgraduate apprenticeships.

Extra funding will support demand for the Apprentice Grant for Employers (AGE ) in 2014 to 2015 and the scheme will focus entirely on small businesses with less than 50 staff from January 2015.

£170 million of additional finance will be made available, split across the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Education.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “AGE has been very successful in encouraging smaller businesses to take on their first apprentices. With the appetite for apprenticeships growing, this new £170 million investment and programme expansion will give a boost to smaller businesses and enable us to meet the higher than anticipated demand for the scheme over the next 2 years.”

Also, £20 million of new finance is being committed to further support degree level and postgraduate apprenticeships. Investment will part-fund the training of degree level or postgraduate apprentices, with the rest of the cost of the training met by the employer.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “We want it to be the new norm that young people either choose to go to university or begin an apprenticeship. Additional funding to support degree level apprenticeships will make this a reality and also put universities and vocational education on the same footing.”