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London Business Matters

60 APPRENTICESHIPS Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Robert Halfon As Apprenticeships and Skills Minister I want to transform the skills base of our country, increase our economic productivity and ensure employers get the skilled workforce they desperately need OVER the past 20 years we have seen a decline in investment in home-grown training and skills. This is simply unacceptable and it is why this government is bringing in a raft of apprenticeship reforms so people across Britain can gain the skills they need for a successful career and businesses have the talent they need to grow. We have been making huge strides towards Britain becoming an apprentice nation – with nearly 900,000 people on an apprenticeship scheme – the highest f igure on record. In the London area alone, in 2015/16 there were over 46,000 apprenticeship starts, more than doubling since 2009/10. I have been clear since my appointment as Apprenticeships and Skills Minister that apprenticeships should be more responsive to the needs of business and 2017 is going to be an important year in achieving this. It is great to see that in the London region, health, public services and care have seen the largest increase in the number of apprenticeship starts from 2014/15 to 2015/16. Our apprenticeship levy will build on this by boosting our economic productivity, increasing our skills base further and giving millions a rung up on the ladder of opportunity. So, what do you need to know about our reforms: We know that nobody understands the skills employers need better than the employers themselves. That is why we are placing them in the driving seat. Through our trailblazer Initiative, groups of employers are designing new apprenticeship standards that set out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they know are essential. Coming into force in April this year, the levy will also give Robert Halfon Continued on p62


London Business Matters
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