On 21 August 2015, apart from asking employers for their views on the introduction of an apprenticeship levy, the government further outlined its pledge to boost apprenticeships.
Prime minister David Cameron said: “The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business. As a one nation government, we are committed to supporting 3m quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give millions more hardworking people financial security and a brighter future.”
And in order to deliver that target, Cameron announced the establishment of the Apprenticeship Delivery Board.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has finally revealed the board’s members, and claimed it would be chaired by apprenticeship advisor Nadhim Zahawi, Conservative MP for Stratford-Upon-Avon, and David Meller, who chairs the Apprenticeship Ambassador Network.
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Other board members will include David Abraham, chief executive of Channel 4, Mike Thompson, head of apprenticeships at Barclays, Andrew Parmley, an alderman for the City of London, and Rami Ranger CBE, chairman of Sun Mark. Melanie Hayes, resourcing and development director at Compass Group, as well as Simon Blagden MBE, non-executive chairman at Fujitsu and James Wates CBE, chairman of Wates Construction, will be joining them.
Zahawi suggested that as more British businesses got involved, and with the inclusion of higher and degree level apprenticeships, the status of apprenticeships could be raised. This, he said, was “a target which provides us with an unmissable opportunity to change lives, boost skills and increase productivity in the UK economy.”
According to the government, the board will harness their experience and industry reputation to encourage others to follow their lead while also working to identify challenges that may be stopping employers getting involved with apprenticeships.
Business secretary Sajid Javid said: “To create 3m apprenticeships by 2020 means even more life changing opportunities for our young people. More than that, apprenticeships make sense for business. That’s why some of the country’s top business leaders are coming together to bang the drum for apprenticeships.
“We are putting employers at the heart of quality apprenticeships so that young people get the skills they need to succeed. Today we are celebrating everything that apprenticeships have to offer businesses and young people.”
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