The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has welcomed Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget pledge of a £500m boost for vocational training.
Mr Hammond said the money will be used to develop new ‘T Levels’ in 15 categories and that backing vocational training was crucial to tackling the UK’s poor productivity, which in turn would support the development of a more prosperous and inclusive society.
T Levels, which will be developed between now and 2022, are designed to give technical subjects equal status alongside A levels so that students pursuing a vocational route are not disadvantaged in the eyes of potential employers or dissuaded from taking a non-academic path by their parents.
The Chancellor also announced £300m to support 1,000 new PhD places and fellowships in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects. He added that the number of hours of training for technical students aged 16 to 19 would be increased by more than 50%, including a high-quality, three-month work placement.
“T Levels fit neatly with the government’s ongoing support for Trailblazer apprenticeships, and will provide further help in developing the stream of new talent coming into STEM professions,” said Mr Howard. “Apprenticeships are a natural progression from T Levels.”
He added that apprenticeships delivered proven business benefits to employers quoting research carried out by BESA’s training department, which revealed that 70% of employers believe their productivity, and therefore business growth, is improved by taking on apprentices.
Every £1 of taxpayers’ money invested in apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 pays back between £26 and £28 in long-term economic benefits, according to the Association, and 83% of apprentices believe their career prospects have improved as a result of securing a place on an apprenticeship scheme.
The Association is developing Trailblazers across a wide range of technical sectors and at a variety of levels including: installation; service & maintenance; ductwork; ventilation hygiene; refrigeration, air conditioning and heat pumps; and has also started work on developing apprenticeships at higher and degree level.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thebesa.com/training