Firms praise apprentice help pledge

Tim Wallace
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SMALL FIRMS will get more help from lawyers and accountants to guide them through the complex apprenticeship system, the government announced today.

The announcement comes as jewellery entrepreneur Jason Holt publishes his review into the sector, which found few small and medium sized firms (SMEs) understand the current structure or purpose of apprenticeships.

SMEs “have an outdated view of apprenticeships, are often in the dark, and frequently do not receive the specific training provision their apprentices need,” said Holt.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) welcomed the report, stressing the importance of hiring young trainees.

“SMEs are a major untapped source of apprenticeships, so it’s good that this review shows how complex the current process has become for smaller firms to deal with,” said Jim Bligh. “SMEs need better local advice which helps them provide on-the-job training.”