The Institute of the Motor Industry has welcomed the Government's announcement of a package of new measures to make it easier for employers to take on large numbers of apprentices.
In the announcement made by Skills Minister John Hayes, he announced that payments will be simplified, contracts streamlined and a number of data returns and audit requirements will be eliminated.
Hayes said that firms that contract directly with the Government to train apprentices will now benefit from simplified payment, reporting and assessment requirements. They will also receive better guidance to help them manage the recruitment, training and assessment of apprentices more efficiently and cost effectively.
As the Sector Skills Council for the retail motor industry the IMI partners with industry employers to identify the sector's current and future skill needs. It promotes and facilitates solutions to increase the professional competence and career prospects of over 500,000 employees.
Linda Stansfield, chief operating officer at the IMI, said: "We welcome the news that Government is making it easier for employers to take on apprentices by removing the red tape which may have previously deterred them.
"The retail motor industry is one of the top three sectors in the UK to offer apprenticeships as a route to a career in the industry. Employers in our sector continue to demonstrate their commitment to apprenticeships with increasing numbers of young people choosing to become an apprentice in 2010 - currently 12,000 per annum.
"We hope this announcement enables more employers to look at the apprenticeship as a means of investing in long term skills development."
Employers looking to take on an apprentice should first contact the National Apprenticeship Service to discuss their requirements. More information can be found by visiting www.apprenticeships.org.uk