Government announce £250m vocational training fund

The government has announced £250 million to try and entice businesses into investing in skills and apprenticeships.

David Cameron hopes the money will boost vocational training and put young people back into work.

The £250 million will be funded directly to employers over roughly two years, and completely bypass colleges and traditional training providers.

The Prime Minister said: “Times are tough, especially for young people who are trying to get their foot in the door and launch their career.

“I am determined to do all we can to give people the very best skills, training and opportunities to succeed, and why despite tough spending decisions we are investing in record numbers of apprenticeships.

Mr Cameron added: “We are seeing an incredible take up of these apprenticeship places.

“I want that to continue, which is why we are taking action to make it easier to take on apprentices, and now we are giving employers the power to take control of the training so that it best meets the skills they need.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable said the government wasn’t trying to damage the relationships colleges have with employerss.

“The introduction of this pilot might sound threatening to some providers, and perhaps to some of you, it actually represents an opportunity for the best to expand,” Mr Cable said during the Association of Colleges (AoC) Annual Conference.

“We therefore intend, as the Prime Minister has announced today, to try out a new and radical approach to promoting business engagement and investment in skills and apprenticeships – one where public money is channelled through employers.”