Ministers and employers ‘bang the drum’ for apprentices at Number 10

The value of apprentices was celebrated at a special reception in Downing Street yesterday (January 18), hosted by the Prime Minister and Business Secretary Sajid Javid.

Some of the UK’s top businesses and employers attended, with the likes of Deloitte and the Adecco Group pledging to increase the number of apprenticeships they offer.

The event was organised to bring together organisations in the private and public sector that recognise the benefits apprenticeships can generate for businesses, as well as the opportunities they provide for young people.


‘Life-changing opportunities’

Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “Three million more apprenticeships by 2020 means even more life-changing opportunities for our young people. More than that, apprenticeships make sense for business. That’s why some of the country’s top business leaders are coming together to bang the drum for apprenticeships.

“We are putting employers at the heart of quality apprenticeships so that young people get the skills they need to succeed. Today we are celebrating everything that apprenticeships have to offer businesses and young people.”

Prime Minister David Cameron also announced the launch of the new Apprenticeship Delivery Board, whose members will champion apprenticeships and work to boost the number of places on offer in their industries.

With the government pledging to develop three million apprenticeships in the next four years, the board will also be tasked with identifying the barriers to employers taking on apprentices.

It will be chaired by the PM’s apprenticeship adviser Nadhim Zahawi MP and apprenticeship champion David Meller.


Members of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board include:

  • David Abraham, Chief Executive of Channel 4
  • Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays
  • Alderman Andrew Parmley, City of London
  • Rami Ranger CBE, Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd
  • Melanie Hayes, Resourcing and Development Director at Compass Group
  • Simon Blagden MBE, Non-Executive Chairman at Fujitsu
  • James Wates CBE, Chairman, Wates Construction


Raising the status of apprenticeships

Chair of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board, Nadhim Zahawi said: “I’m proud that we’ve been able to put together such an exciting line up of top business leaders for the Apprenticeship Delivery Board.

“I look forward to working closely with them all, raising further awareness of the business benefits of apprenticeships and providing feedback on how to continually improve quality, as well as quantity.

“As ever more great British businesses get involved, and with the inclusion of higher and degree level apprenticeships, we can raise the status of apprenticeships while delivering three million starts by 2020; a target which provides us with an unmissable opportunity to change lives, boost skills and increase productivity in the UK economy.”