£40m higher apprenticeships boost

An additional 20,000 higher apprenticeships will be offered in England up to 2014/15 under a £40 million boost, the Government announced.

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Business Secretary Vince Cable said an additional 20,000 higher apprenticeships will be offered in England up to 2014/15 under a £40 million boost.

An additional 20,000 higher apprenticeships will be offered in England up to 2014/15 under a £40 million boost, the Government announced.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the move was part of his aim of putting further and higher education on an equal footing.

But qualifications body City & Guilds warned that the Autumn Statement had put the apprenticeship system "at risk" because of additional bureaucracy faced by employers.

Chief executive Chris Jones said: 'It's not the focus on employer ownership that's risky - that's something we actually welcome. It's the assumption that employers have the time - and indeed the will - to cope with the additional bureaucracy these reforms will entail.

"Rather than incentivising employers, I fear they'll be put off by what's been announced and decide it is simply not worth the hassle. That would be a disaster, and another generation of young people in this country would lose out.

"All employers, regardless of size, will feel the effects. The reforms will require additional resource. There will be even more hoops to jump through to establish an apprenticeship."

Higher apprenticeships are at levels above A-level, up to Masters degree equivalent, providing an alternative route to obtaining high skills.

Mr Cable said: "My ambition by 2015 is for every school leaver to look at a university degree and a further education degree as different but equal in terms of desirability, future employability and earning potential."