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Skills academy wants firms to use apprentice cash

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services has urged financial services firms to take advantage of additional £250m apprenticeship funding from the Government.

Chancellor George Osborne pledged to double the number of apprenticeships for over-19s in the comprehensive spending review.

He also announced an additional £250m of Government funding to create 75,0000 more apprenticeships a year for adults already in the workplace by 2014/2015.
Chief executive Sylvia Perrins says she is pleased that the Government has recognised the importance of apprenticeships.

But she adds: “The industry is at risk of missing out unless it is vocal about staking its claim on this funded training route. As a demand-led funding system, companies need to come forward if they are to have a hope of benefiting from this boost.”

Chartered Insurance Institute relationship manager for education Caspar Bartington also welcomes the increase for adult apprenticeship funding.

He says: “Full apprenticeship funding for 16-19-year-olds is already ringfenced and the new adult funding opens the door for employers to upskill their existing back-office staff or take on more experienced staff from other sectors, who have the life experience that many companies are seeking.

“Financial services employers offer very few apprenticeships compared with other sectors. This is an excellent opportunity to put this right, particularly since the new level four apprenticeship framework will be available in 2011 and will attract this funding.”

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