Steve Brawley, Chief Executive of the Joint Industry Board (JIB) and a founding partner of The Electrotechnical Skills Partnership (TESP), has welcomed Government proposals to set funding for the new electrotechnical apprenticeship standard at £18,000.

He said: “The proposed funding band allocated to our apprenticeship is a fair one, and one that reflects the recommendations and modifications made by the Trailblazer group who reviewed our previous apprenticeship framework. It shows that the Government recognises and respects the level of investment our apprenticeship needs and their continued willingness to support high-quality apprenticeships and employers in industries that need specialist skills.

Brawley also welcomed proposals to waive the co-investment in apprentice training for firms with 50 employees or less who take on 16-18 year-old apprentices. He said: “This proposal will significantly lighten the load on the small and micro businesses in our industry who typically take on and train the majority of apprentices. These firms make a significant investment in apprenticeships and apprentices, and plans to excuse them from co-funding their apprentices’ training costs, however small, may encourage more businesses to make that investment.”

He concluded: “The lack of clarity around funding has made some employers unwilling to take on apprentices until they were aware what was going on. Now the uncertainty around funding has ended, I would hope employers in our industry will recruit apprentices with the enthusiasm they have historically – an enthusiasm that saw many continue to train throughout the worst recession in living memory because of their commitment to developing the industry’s future skillsbase.”