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National Skills Academies secures funding to boost apprenticeships in SMEs

The National Skills Academy has revealed that its network, which supports skills, training and jobs in the creative industries, has secured GBP100,000 in funding to launch a new pilot programme designed to increase the number of apprenticeships amongst small and medium enterprises (SME) in the UK.

This new apprenticeship pilot scheme is available to those employers with less than 1000 staff across their UK business, that have not have taken on an apprentice in the past twelve months. The programme will enable the network of National Skills Academies to work much closer with SME employers with the recruitment of apprentices into their business. The apprenticeship specialists will also make sure that the right NSA MPS Accredited quality assured training provision is provided in support of employers and apprentices throughout the apprenticeship programme, in order to deliver the high level of skills required and help businesses achieve apprenticeship potential.

Jonathan Ledger, managing director National Skills Academy for Materials, Production and Supply (NSA MPS), said: “National Skills Academies, including our own, have close relationships with employers and this funding will help us use our leverage to increase apprenticeship take-up amongst small and medium sized companies which are generally more difficult to reach.”

The National Skills Academy is the delivery arm of Creative & Cultural Skills, which is licensed as a Sector Skills Council by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills. It has been granted funding from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills to extend its work into Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The organisation is also a member of the Alliance of Sector Skills Councils, which collectively representing the skills needs of UK industry.

According to the Skills Academy, 2,500 Creative Apprentices were created from 2008 to 2013 and through its Creative Employment Programme; it intends to create 6,500 further apprenticeships and paid internships by March 2015.


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