Jack Lopresti MP, Co-Chair of the All Party Group on Apprenticeships and MP for Filton and Bradley Stoke, took the opportunity at BEIS questions this morning, during National Apprenticeships Week, to ask new Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng about expanding opportunities for apprentices in Research and Development-led businesses.
Jack has long championed apprenticeships in all sectors and has led efforts both locally and nationally to increase awareness of the benefits of taking on an apprentice. While many businesses who work on R&D already use apprentices, there is plenty of scope for their role to be expanded, especially as the country works to build back better from the coronavirus pandemic and get more people into work.
In his question, Jack Lopresti MP asked:
Apprentices have played a key role throughout this pandemic, including working on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine that is helping the country overcome the virus.
Can my Right Honourable Friend confirm that, in National Apprenticeship Week, he will be working with and encouraging more R&D based businesses to provide apprenticeship opportunities, so more young people can gain the skills they need to progress in this field?
Answering, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP said:
Absolutely. I thank my Honourable Friend for the great work he is doing as Co-Chair of the APPG on Apprenticeships. He will know that apprenticeships are a key part of this Government's plan for jobs as we Build Back Better from the pandemic.
That's why we are offering employers cash payments of up to £2,000 when they hire a new apprentice until the 31st March this year.
Commenting, Jack said:
Good quality apprenticeships which improve opportunity for young people which promote social mobility are one of the hallmarks of the UK’s programme that make it stand out.
I’m passionate about getting more businesses signed up to offer apprenticeships, including R&D businesses, so I’m really pleased that National Apprenticeships Week is putting them in the spotlight.
To watch Jack's question, click here.