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Lord Young urges employers to embrace NAS

Opportunity exists for companies to take on talented youngsters, he argues

Lord Young, the skills and apprenticeship minister, is urging employers to take advantage of the national apprenticeship service to bolster skills in their businesses.

The one-stop shop scheme, which has been launched to increase apprenticeships in the regions, is responsible for funding apprenticeship places. The Government wants every qualified young person to have the right to enter an apprenticeship by 2013.

The service has been designed for employers to easily find apprentices as well as reduce the paperwork burden many feel is a hindrance to engaging fully with apprenticeships.

It is backed by an online vacancy matching service, which encourages employers to register any apprenticeship vacancies they may have while administrative duties can be handled by group training associations – hubs where basic training is conducted.

For the rac trade, the associations fall under the control of Semta, the Sector Skills Council for science, engineering and manufacturing technologies in the UK.

Lord Young told RAC Engineer he acknowledged the bias for higher education over apprenticeships, but believes the national apprenticeship service has a role to play. “The message we are trying to get across is that it’s not either or, it’s two routes,” he said.

“Apprentices have the advantage of understanding the world of work and to understand the workplace you’re functioning in, which means you are a valuable commodity.”

He added that the Government is determined that every apprentice can map a career path to higher education, up to foundation degree level and even where NVQs attract UCAS points.