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Recruitment: Government bill to give boost to apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in the automotive industry have been given a further fillip following a proposed parliamentary bill that says they will be available to all suitably qualified young people.

The Apprenticeship Bill, outlined in the draft Queen’s Speech, said many suitably qualified school-leavers were still denied access to apprenticeships.

By legislating the statutory right of young people to obtain an apprenticeship, said Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the number of people starting a scheme would triple to 210,000 a year by 2011 – compared to 65,000 just 10 years ago.

Rob Foulston, Remit chief executive, supported the bill but said a system to allocate places fairly was needed to make sure businesses were not overwhelmed by applicants.

He added: “Apprenticeship programmes are vital for the continued growth of the retail motor sector and Remit provides training for thousands of learners and the businesses that employ them.

“It is in their interests that apprenticeships are allocated fairly.”

Other proposals include giving every worker the right to request time for training and allowing parents with children up to the age of 16 to request flexible working.

Currently, only parents of children up to age six or disabled children up to age 18 have the right to request flexible working.

The Retail Motor Industry Federation bought back Remit from Carter and Carter for £62,500 in April this year, after selling it for £25.5 million in May 2006.

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