Prime minister Boris Johnson has said that the government will ensure there is sufficient funding to support small businesses to take on apprentices this year.
In a letter to Commons Liaison Committee chair Sir Bernard Jenkin, Mr Johnson said that apprenticeships will play a vital role in economy recovery, ensuring that employers and people of all backgrounds develop the skills they need to succeed.
He wrote: "I agree with the committee that it is particularly important in the current climate that young people have the opportunity to get the skills they need for a prosperous future. As the chancellor set out, we will develop new measures to grow the economy and boost skills.
"For apprenticeships, we are looking at how we can support employers, especially small businesses, to take on new apprenticeships this year and will provide detail in due course. We will also ensure that there is sufficient funding to support small businesses wanting to take on an apprentice this year. I am also keen to consider how traineeships can help more young people to acquire the skills and the experience they need to enter the labour market."
Prime Minister: Young people should get apprenticeship guarantee
The letter comes as it has been reported that chancellor Rishi Sunak could make available funding to allow employers £3,000 in support for each apprentice under the age of 25 they hire.
In recent weeks, the prime minister has mooted the idea of an apprenticeship guarantee after this was suggested as a promise to young people by chair of the Commons Education Select Committee Robert Halfon.
Department for Education statistics show that apprenticeship starts have almost halved during lockdown.
In a submission to the government a fortnight ago, AELP called for £8.6 billion in funding from the government – £5 billion for skills training and £3.6 billion in apprentice wage subsidies to encourage employers to make opportunities available for young people aged 16 to 24.