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Paperwork is cut to lure business

Red tape around apprenticeships is being cut to help colleges and training providers encourage businesses to take up the programmes.

At a summit meeting, Government, college and business delegates decided to scrap requirements to keep paper records for six years, provide monthly reports and receive multiple inspection visits.

Funding will also be simplified, with firms receiving two lump sums rather than monthly payments.

John Denham, the Skills Secretary, said: "Employers tell us that if we are to meet our ambitious aims to expand apprenticeships, we need to cut the red tape. The practical measures we have agreed will enable more employers to meet their skills needs, unimpeded by time-consuming administration."

The changes are intended to help meet the Government's aim of one in five teenagers taking up an apprenticeship by 2020. Funding will reach Pounds 1 billion in two years' time.

Once the changes are made, Tesco has pledged to double the 450 apprenticeships it offers each year.

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