The incentives announced by the government in support of schemes for apprentices have been welcomed by CIPHE.
The institute states that it regards apprentices as the lifeblood of the plumbing and heating industry and feels that recent announcements from the government shows a similar approach.
CIPHE’s response followed universities and science minister David Willetts revealing of three major benefits for apprentices and for companies that offer apprenticeship schemes in the UK.
Mr Willetts has promised to “cut back on the red tape which ties down companies offering apprenticeships”; increase funding for new apprentices; and give a new title to apprentices who have completed their studies.
During the spending review George Osborne specified a 50% increase in the funding of new apprenticeships, which is fabulous news for the SMEs that form the majority of industry employers.
Just as Labour seemed fixated with the education gap, constantly pushing for more students to enrol at University, so the Conservative government seem intent on plugging the skills gap, says CIPHE.
The recession has seen a rise in the number of so-called ‘silver apprentices’ alongside the usual numbers of school leavers.
There are now many more apprentices aged over 50, including about 400 in their 60s and 13 in their 70s.
Many of these people will have joined apprenticeship schemes after losing their jobs and some may even have left retirement to start work again, possibly to supplement their pension.
Whatever the reason, the increase in demand will make this extra funding essential, says CIPHE.