The Welsh Government is planning to create at least 100,000 apprenticeships in Wales over the next five years.
To achieve this goal, the Welsh Government will increase its investment in apprenticeships from £96m to £111.5m for 2017/18, bringing total investment in apprenticeships and traineeships next year to more than £126m.
The policy will focus on increasing the number of apprentices aged 16-19 by increasing the take-up of quality apprenticeships amongst school leavers. Skill shortages will also be addressed by developing apprenticeships tailored to take advantage of emerging sectors such as ICT, engineering and construction.
Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths has welcomed the announcement and said: “This new apprenticeship policy, one of Welsh Labour’s key manifesto commitments, aims to address the needs of Welsh businesses and the wider economy.”
“The additional investment is a 20% increase on previous funding pledges and demonstrates the Welsh Government’s determination to ensure apprentices in Wales obtain the high-quality, technical and professional skills needed to succeed.”
The proposals also outline how the impact of the Apprenticeship Levy – a UK Government employment tax due to come into effect in April 2017 – will be managed in Wales. It will apply to all employers with a pay bill of more than £3m each year.
The additional Welsh Government funding will ensure both public and private sector employers are not disadvantaged as a result of the Apprenticeship Levy.