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Bank fines to create 50,000 new apprenticeships

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The Conservatives have pledged to use bank fines to fund the creation of 50,000 new apprenticeships.

David Cameron said he would use the £227m fine imposed on Deutsche Bank for rigging the Libor rate - the interest rate set between banks - to establish a new three-year fund for work-based learning.

The scheme will be targeted at 22 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for more than six months. Mr Cameron said it would “get them off the dole and in to work.”

Deutsche Bank was handed the fine by the Financial Conduct Authority earlier this week for trying to manipulate the Libor inter-bank lending rate.

Apprenticeships have become a major policy goal of all three main political parties.

The Conservatives have pledged to create 3 million new apprenticeships over the course of the next Parliament, Labour said they would guarantee apprenticeships for every school leaver in England who "gets the grades" by 2020, and the Liberal Democrats have promised to double the number of employers offering apprenticeships to young people.

Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said: “Given that the number of young people starting apprenticeships has fallen in the last year, we welcome the announcement that there will be a new three-year fund to create 50,000 new apprenticeships for young unemployed people.

“When so many young people are out of work, the government needs to do more to encourage employers to invest properly in apprenticeships and to pay apprentices more than the minimum wage.

“They must also ensure that young people everywhere, whether in school or college, have access to high quality, independent, face-to-face, careers information, advice and guidance.”

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