Prime minister says he will impose legal duty on councils to boost apprenticeship numbers

ConstructionSkills will have a legal obligation to provide apprenticeship places in every area, under new plans by Gordon Brown.


In a speech to the University of Greenwich this morning the prime minister said he would impose a legal duty on learning and skills councils to halt the situation where “there can be only 95 apprenticeship completions in Hackney but over 2500 in Hampshire”. ConstructionSkills said the proposals form part of a “radical overhaul of apprenticeships”. Proposals include:

  • A new UCAS-style matching service, so that young people in any area can be matched up with businesses offering apprenticeships in every area;
  • A widening of the numbers of employers who join the apprenticeship programme, building on the 130,000 signed up today
  • Making the public sector a better partner in apprenticeships including in Whitehall itself
  • Brown also said advanced apprentices would have a credit of at least £3,000 though a Skills Account to pay towards their costs.

The prime minister also said that the government was paying the college fees of young people up to the age of 25 studying the equivalent of A-levels, and giving access to an adult learning grant of £30 a week.

Max Hamps, Director, ConstructionSkills Apprenticeship said: "It is vital that employers take on apprentices if we are to avoid severe skills shortages in the future."

"Apprenticeships offer an attractive pathway to a successful career in construction and we continue to work to reinforce that message and hope that yesterday's announcement will result in more employers taking advantage of this opportunity to invest in their business."