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Budget 2011

George Osborne has today presented his budget to the House of Commons.  Very few surprises, particularly in welfare to work and skills sector.  However, announcements did include:

  • extra funding for an additional 80,000 work experience placements over the next two years for young people
  • 40,000 new apprenticeships targeted at NEET clients

The new work placements build on the launch in January of work experience, enabling young people (18-21) to undertake up to 8 weeks work experience without their benefit being affected.  The question of where 80,000 new placements will come from is yet to be answered!

The argument re apprenticeships is that they are no longer the apprenticeships of old where the employer didn't have to employ the young person and pay them a wage.  Those days are long gone and the funding just covers training costs.  Offering funding for apprenticeships does little to support job creation as it provides a very limited financial incentive for an employer.  However, the ambition is to link the new apprenticeship places to work experience to encourage the employers who have offered the placement to take on the young person and continue training via an apprenticeship.  Joined up thinking - let's hope it works.

Visit the budget website to read the full budget report.

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