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The Offer of Government Apprenticeships

When I was at school I recall some of the boys getting apprenticeships with the then Austin Rover I see from LinkedIn that some of them are still employed at the Jaguar Rover plant in Solihull – genuine apprenticeships training skilled staff who go on to have a full and fruitful career with the company who offered the apprenticeship.

We hear of Government planning to stop the Job seekers allowance and using the savings to provide money for apprenticeships. Will these  Government sponsored apprenticeships effectively encourage companies to take on young general dogs-bodies for “administrative support” under the guise of apprenticeships who spend a year or so bored of doing menial tasks, later to move on, disillusioned and still without qualifications of value?

More precisely David Cameron announced at the Conservative party conference (October 2014) that he would remove the option for school leavers to go straight onto Job Seeker’s allowance thus saving £300 million, which would be used for creating new apprenticeships. Having said that as a youngster without a bank of mum and dad ,just leaving school and looking for work what happens if there are no valid apprenticeships near their home. Will the government provide relocation services and travel expenses for interviews?.

I look forward to seeing the details of the new scheme. One could say that those apprenticeships will be hugely welcome in offering employment opportunities to youngsters and as the mother of two children the difficulty youngsters have finding employment is a genuine concern and such opportunities warmly welcomed. Having said that, surely offering companies financial incentives to create apprenticeships is a very different scenario to where  companies decide for themselves that they need a skilled work force and are happy to train their own. A company wanting to expand and thinking in terms of succession planning, recognizing the need for skilled employees, would be a far more attractive proposition to a youngster looking for a career. Getting a skilled workforce involves  not only a monetary investment but an investment in time and planning with a well thought out training programme that any Company worth its salt should be investing in anyway.

How better could Mr Cameron and co better spend £300 million? How could £300 million be better used to get youngsters into work? Ok, so there are so many questions and no! – truthfully I can’t come up with a better answer so we await with anticipation and hope that the scheme will provide high quality training programmes to create the skilled workforce that our economy needs.

avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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