Osborne announces 40,000 new apprenticeships for unemployed youth and £180m to fund 10,000 adult apprenticeships

Chancellor George Osborne’s budget this month contained a raft of measures designed to stimulate the jobs market.

Chief among these was the announcement of 40,000 new apprenticeships for young people out of work.

A further £180m will be allocated to fund 10,000 “high-level” adult apprenticeships focusing on advanced skills.

The government hopes to address acute skills shortages in engineering by making the profession “more desirable”.

One of the more imaginative proposals is a new international prize in engineering to generate excitement about careers in the sector.

At least six exceptional engineers from business will also be awarded a manufacturing “fellowship” to lead a £1m programme of research with “real commercial potential”.

Osborne said the government is on track to deliver 250,000 more apprenticeships by 2015 than the previous Labour administration.

It is likely construction firms such as Carillion with long-standing apprenticeship partnerships with the government will look to get involved in the scheme.

Also in the budget were plans for 12 new university technical colleges (UTCs), taking the number of UTCs to be launched over the next few years to 24.

A number of construction and engineering firms have expressed an interest in following digger giant JCB’s lead in setting up a UTC.

JCB was the first company to set up a UTC last autumn and will take its first full intake this September.

UTCs teach a vocational or technical curriculum to pupils from 14-years-old.

Osborne also announced funding for 100,000 new work experience placements.