August 25, 2011

Labour aims to boost apprenticeships with contract scheme

by Jan Harris

Labour has outlined proposals to increase the number of apprenticeships by only offering public sector contracts to firms with an apprentice scheme already in place.

However the “jobs-for-contracts” proposal, which was announced by Shadow business secretary John Denham, has been criticised by ministers for potentially burdening employers with new regulations.

The scheme would allow firms operating apprentice schemes to bid for a share of the £220bn a year the government spends on buying goods and services from the private sector.

Labour is launching the plan under its “Britain’s Lost Talent” campaign.

Separately, Asda today announced that applications to its apprenticeship scheme have increased by 50% compared with last year.

The retailer has signed up over 4,000 apprentices.

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