Skillset is to give incentive payments of up to £1,500 to 500 small businesses taking on their first apprentice, business secretary Vince Cable announced yesterday.
At the launch of National Apprenticeship week, Cable said that Skillset, the Government’s skills council body, would make the payments available to employers in the creative industries with fewer than 250 staff.
Skillset will work with more than 300 businesses to create 500 apprenticeships, with the first places set to be offered in September 2012.
Skillset was recently endorsed by the Government and Creative Industries Council to help drive more companies to take on apprentices in conjunction with the National Apprenticeships Service (NAS).
Skillset has worked with employers, training and education providers and industry organisations to produce a report identifying the key challenges facing the sector and what needs to be done.
Further initiatives to boost apprenticeships in the creative industries include setting up group training to help businesses in the creative industries to share training resources and manage apprentices as a group. New frameworks will also be set up for higher apprenticeships (up to degree-level equivalent).
Cable said: “Apprenticeships are at the centre of the Government’s skills policy because we know that they work. Not only do they provide individuals with the skills they need for prosperous and rewarding careers, they also boost businesses’ profits and drive growth in the wider economy.
“I’m pleased that the Creative Industries recognise this and we support all the work they are doing to increase the number of apprenticeships in the sector, particularly in small businesses.
“We are providing extra help to enable small employers to hire their first apprentices. We will also continue to develop new advanced and higher-level apprenticeships to deliver the world-class skills individuals and firms need to get ahead.”