More cash for apprenticeships and cap on university places is lifted

 
Kate McCann
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A RAFT of measures on education were announced as part of the Autumn Statement yesterday.

The chancellor focused on policies to encourage more apprenticeships and additional university places to cater for increased demand.

On apprenticeships, Osborne announced that money will now go direct to providers from HMRC. An extra £40m will be invested over two years, he added, which could see 20,000 people trained in highly-skilled fields.

In a move funded by the sale of the student loan book, an additional 30,000 people will be able to go to university in 2014-15 and 60,000 in 2015-16 as the government gradually lifts the cap on places. Osborne also announced plans to invest more money in science, maths, technology and engineering in universities, calling the plan a “personal priority.”

The government’s free school meal policy for five to seven year olds, championed by deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, was also confirmed. It will cost the Treasury over £600m.

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