To mark the start of National Apprenticeships Week, the Education Secretary Michael Gove has warned British companies they cannot “stand aloof” from the Government’s drive to increase apprenticeships for young people. The Education Secretary argued that measures to reduce cost and bureaucracy for businesses taking on apprentices means firms no longer have “any excuse” not to get involved. However, for Labour Liam Byrne accused the Government of having “tarnished” the brand of apprenticeships and said that under a future Labour Government apprenticeships return to being a “trusted gold standard”.
Meanwhile, Labour is unveiling a new programme to encourage more apprenticeships in science and engineering. Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna will say today that Catapult Centres, government-funded institutions that develop businesses out of technological innovation, will be able to offer apprenticeships as part of a plan to ensure Britain is engaged in a “race to the top” internationally.