Last updated: 09.08.13

Campaigner announces support for govt apprenticeship shake-up

Government plans to give employers control over apprenticeship training have been backed by long-term campaigner and property refurbishment entrepreneur Will Daves.

Mr Davies has claimed he has been saying for years that companies know what skills their younger members of staff require and they should be the guiding force in designing apprenticeships, rather than civil servants or dedicated providers, Business Matters reports.

Parliament recently announced details of a consultation on overhauling funding for apprenticeships, which would see employers having access to finance for their own training schemes.

According to Mr Davies, this shake-up is long overdue, after the Richard Review concluded last year that many initiatives were allowed to claim government support, but this only lasted a few weeks and was of little or no value.

"More than 20 per cent of the under 24-year-olds in this country are without employment or training at the moment and becoming more and more alienated by the job market," he added.

Three funding models are set to be discussed at the consultation - a direct payment model that would provide employers with cash as soon as they register an apprentice, a PAYE payment model paying companies after receiving a receipt and a provider payment system, which would keep the current process in place of funding external training companies and only give out money when employers have made their contribution.

Mr Davies' own property maintenance firm is currently taking on apprenticeships for training through an old-fashioned boot camp system.

He explained: "Youngsters are put through a series of fitness, literacy and numeracy tests. They are able to commit to the scheme because we were able to demonstrate that the reward was genuine on-the-job training."

Business secretary Vince Cable has agreed that employers are the best people to judge what training is worth investing in and remarked that the government reforms will hand more power to companies to make sure their workers' skills are relevant to the job.