Department for Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 3rd July 2015.

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Photo of Jo Cox Jo Cox Labour, Batley and Spen

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what his policy is on devolving power on apprenticeship policy to local authorities.

Photo of Nicholas Boles Nicholas Boles The Minister for Universities and Science, Minister of State (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) (Jointly with the Department for Education)

Apprenticeships are a national strategic priority, essential to support our employers and to aid the growth and productivity of our economy. We delivered 2.3 million apprenticeships last parliament and are committed to 3 million apprenticeship starts over the next 5 years.

We are developing a comprehensive plan for growth, including more work with large employers; more support for small businesses at a local level; a greater emphasis on the public sector leading the way on apprenticeships; and a renewed plan on communications and marketing.

We are also committed to getting the apprenticeship product right, by delivering employer-led apprenticeship reform, through Trailblazers, to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to provide the skills that employers need.

As part of the work being done with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to re-shape and re-structure Further Education provision within Greater Manchester, the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers has been devolved so that Manchester can make its own determination regarding priorities. The grant provides £1,500 per apprentice for small businesses (up to 50 employees) that employ a new young apprentice aged 16 – 24.

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