By Max Clarke

Business secretary Vince Cable announced yesterday, at the start of Apprenticeships Week, that total funding for apprenticeships was to rise to £1.4 Billion by 2010, creating some 100,000 extra apprenticeships. Scores of big-name companies have demonstrated their enthusiasm for the scheme, with Microsoft, Land Rover-jaguar and Proctor and Gamble recently offering increased apprenticeships.

The CBI Director for Education & Skills policy, Susan Anderson, today released a comment on yesterday’s announcement:

“We welcome the support the Government is giving to expanding employer-led apprenticeship programmes.

"Apprenticeships provide practical, business-focused training that increases business productivity and gives people the skills they need to kick-start their careers. Many employers are delivering excellent schemes which have led to an increase in the numbers taking up apprenticeship opportunities.

"If we are to build on this good work and encourage more employers to be involved, the Government must continue to make progress on cutting bureaucracy — half of employers say reducing red-tape would boost apprentice numbers.”