Contractors will be unable to bid for major public sector schemes from next month without offering apprenticeships, it was announced today.
David Cameron said that from 1 September all tenders for government projects worth £10M or more would require demonstration of a commitment to the training programmes.
It is part of a package of measures unveiled by the prime minister to help meet the government’s commitment to create 3M apprenticeships by 2020.
A consultation has been launched on the introduction of the controversial apprenticeship levy in 2017.
Industry standards were published for apprenticeships in 59 sectors, including nuclear engineering and welding, through the Trailblazer initiative.
Nuclear decommissioning firm Sellafield became the 100th member of the 5% club, a group of organisations committing to getting that proportion of their workforce on training schemes within five years.
And transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin pledged to create 30,000 apprenticeship places in road and rail by May 2020.
Cameron said: “The greatest asset any employer has is their workforce. And by investing in them, they are investing in the success and future of their business.
“As a one nation government, we are committed to supporting 3M quality apprenticeships over the next five years – to help strengthen our economy, deliver the skills that employers need and give millions more hardworking people financial security and a brighter future.”