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Government unveils apprenticeship recruitment scheme

Business secretary, Sajid Javid has revealed a new government initiative designed to place apprentices in businesses quoted on AIM, the London Stock Exchange’s growth market for growing SMEs.

Mr Javid was speaking at the London Stock Exchange Group’s event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of AIM and said the new scheme will “bring together innovative new companies that are the future of British business, and the hardworking young apprentices who are the future of the British workforce”.

An initial £20,000 has been committed by the London Stock Exchange Group Foundation to finance the cost of running the scheme, although additional funds were raised at the event.

Over 850 companies nationwide are named on AIM, with the scheme expected to highlight the opportunities these ambitious businesses offer to promising young apprentices.

“World-class apprenticeships are essential to support our employers and give hope and opportunity to young people,” said Javid.

“We are committed to three million new apprenticeship starts in this Parliament, and AIM’s Apprenticeship scheme is exactly the kind of project that will help make that vision a reality.”

Xavier Rolet, CEO, London Stock Exchange Group, added: “As we celebrate 20 years of AIM providing capital to companies to fund their growth, we are delighted to launch this new SME Apprenticeship Scheme in partnership with City Gateway.

“SMEs are a key driver of jobs, innovation and economic growth in the UK. Matching the UK’s most dynamic growth companies with talented young people seeking life-changing opportunities is a win-win.”

Interestingly, earlier this month it was announced that the term ‘apprenticeship’ is soon to be legally protected so that the term cannot be abused.

To legally describe training as an apprenticeship going forward, schemes will have to provide at least a year’s training and meet a number of other requirements.

The measures will form a part of the government’s Enterprise Bill. In a statement, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said the legislation would ensure the Government has power to take action if the term is “misused to promote low-quality courses”.

Image: British High Commission, New Delhi

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