Maritime Minister John Hayes has called on employers to “double” the number of apprentices they employ.
Mr Hayes was speaking on Monday evening to an audience of business and college leaders at the Maritime Skills Alliance’s Reception for London International Shipping Week.
Encouraging employers to be positive about the opportunity created by the Apprenticeship Levy, he said:
Let’s not think in terms of modest incremental increases, but rise to the challenge of doubling the number of apprenticeships offered.
I want the Board of every maritime business, whether they pay the Levy or not, to discuss how apprenticeships can help them succeed by growing the next generation of talent.
The Minister went on to thank the companies profiled in a new booklet on apprenticeships which he launched at the event: Maritime Apprenticeships: Your Future, Their Future, Our Future – Associated British Ports, DFDS Seaways and Berthon. It was a joint publication for employers, from the Department for Transport and industry representative body Maritime UK.
The booklet challenges common myths about apprenticeships, and the Minister pointed to two of them – that apprenticeships are only for school leavers or new employees, and that the Apprenticeship Levy is “just another tax”. He said:
The reason I support the Apprenticeship Levy is that it’s not just a tax, but an opportunity to get extra support for training.
Welcoming the Minister to the event, which was held at Trinity House, MSA Chairman Commodore Bill Walworth said:
We were delighted to see you re-appointed to your role as Maritime Minister. The MSA is right at the heart of the work in the sector to create and promote more apprenticeships, and it’s great to be working with a Minister who so obviously shares our passion for them.
NOTES TO EDITORS:
The Maritime Skills Alliance is an employer-led body, funded entirely by its 18 members, with no Government contribution. It is unusual in covering the full breadth of the maritime sector, and works to create and promote well-designed qualifications and apprenticeships across the UK. www.maritimeskills.org The current number of maritime apprentices is hard to pin down precisely because of weaknesses in the statistical sources. Our best estimate is that there are probably fewer than 250 today. Interest is, however, growing fast, in part because of the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy (and of course there are many other employees on other long-term career programmes).
Iain Mackinnon, Secretary to the Maritime Skills Alliance 0771 424 6740 & 0208 99 88 77 2