Queen’s Speech: apprenticeship and employment measures

The first all-Conservative Queen’s Speech for two decades happened on Wednesday 27th May, which outlined plans for apprenticeships and employment in the UK.

A “full employment and welfare benefits bill” will pledge 3 million new apprenticeships while also limiting benefits for under-21s, who will be required to earn or learn. The apprenticeships will be part-funded by reducing the cap on household benefits from £26,000 to £23,000.

The Queen said: “Legislation will be brought forward to help achieve full employment and provide more people with the security of a job. New duties will require my ministers to report annually on job creation and apprenticeships. Measures will also be introduced to reduce regulation on small businesses so they can create jobs.”

Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, AELP CEO Stewart Segal said: “Not all young people are ready to start an apprenticeship after they have left school and the government’s Traineeship programme should be the main transition programme for young people.  However the government is still restricting access for young people and many employers because there is still the barrier to entry for many training providers wishing to offer the programme.  The government must remove this restriction as soon as possible to ensure that we have an effective transition programme for new starts to apprenticeships.

“AELP hopes to see more of a drive towards an integrated approach to skills and employment provision, including the promised expansion of the Troubled Families programme, as a proven means of securing more sustainable employment for people in Britain.”     

Cllr David Sparks, Chair of the Local Government Association, said: “With the greatest will, government alone cannot engage over two million employers from Whitehall. Rather than spend more money on a struggling system, we need devolved training that enables partnerships of councils, schools, colleges and employers to both boost opportunities locally and to ensure youngsters get the skills, experience and advice to thrive.”