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UK ‘underinvests in apprentices' says skills minister

21 April 2016 by
UK ‘underinvests in apprentices' says skills minister

The UK currently underinvests in apprentices, skills minister Nick Boles MP told the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on the Visitor Economy ahead of the publication of the findings of its first inquiry.

The group was set up in July last year with a brief to look into and lobby Government on key issues, such as VAT on tourism, affecting the hospitality and tourism industries.

At the culmination of its first inquiry, which looked at skills and apprenticeships in the hospitality and tourism industry, Boles presented evidence to the group on the Government's apprenticeship schemes.

As well as saying that the UK underinvests in apprentices, he added that the Government is set to increase its commitment by increasing spending on apprenticeships from £1.5b a year to £2.5b by 2020.

Nigel Huddleston MP, co-chair of APPG for the Visitor Economy, said: "We had a very useful session during which Nick Boles MP answered a range of questions covering not only apprenticeships but the curriculum, schools careers advice and the relationship between travel industry bodies and the government.

"In response to questions about the need for further details on the apprenticeship levy we were delighted to hear that the Government will be providing significant additional details within the next couple of weeks."

The APPG inquiry into skills and apprenticeships garnered a strong response from industry, receiving over 30 written submissions from industry organisations including international hotel groups, SMEs, training providers, further education bodies, trade organisations and campaigners.

The group has also received oral evidence from the British Hospitality Association, Springboard, People 1st, UKinbound, Whitbread PLC and Jurys Inn. Issues raised at the oral evidence meetings included school and post-16 education, the structure of current apprenticeship programmes and the challenges facing both apprentices and their employers.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said: "We welcome the work of the All Party Parliamentary Group to investigate and highlight the key issues for the visitor economy. This inquiry on skills and apprenticeships has shown the huge industry contribution being made and the potential to achieve even more in partnership with Government."

The APPG, which has 24 MPs from all political parties, will put forward recommendations from the inquiry's findings to the industry and government before the summer recess.

The group will launch a second inquiry in the next few weeks looking at the impact of tourism on coastal communities.

Record set for inbound tourism to UK in 2015 >>

All-party parliamentary group on visitor economy established >>

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