Red tape is to be slashed to make it easier for employers to take on apprentices, the Government has announced.
Skills Secretary John Denham said unnecessary bureaucracy such as monthly reporting requirements will be “ditched” because of concerns that firms were being deterred from offering apprenticeships.
The minister said paperwork will be made easier, certification processes simplified and inspection visits reduced.
Mr Denham said: “Employers tell us that if we are to meet our ambitious aims to expand the number of apprenticeships, we need to cut the red tape around the programme.
“There is no reason why firms should have to deal with multiple copies of time-consuming paperwork, provide the same information to several different agencies, be expected to invoice government more often than is necessary, or have to undergo complex inspection requirements when they already have perfectly adequate systems of their own.
“The practical measures we have agreed will enable more employers to meet their present and future skills needs, unimpeded by time-consuming administration.”
The announcement followed a call by the TUC for all apprentices to be paid the national minimum wage to stop people dropping out of their training.
Ending the exemption of under 19-year-old apprentices and older workers in the first year of training from the statutory rate would improve the quality and reputation of apprenticeships, said the union organisation.