Welcoming the publication of `Modern Apprenticeships - A Guide for Small Businesses` he said that apprentices` flexibility and competitive edge were vital to the small and medium sized firm and already proving a winner as the new guide shows.
Mr Paice said:
'I undertook to publish this guide especially for small businesses in order to help them understand what Modern Apprenticeships can do for them. It sets out the help that is available, and how Modern Apprenticeships can be tailored to their needs. Small businesses fear bureaucracy and have not got time for organising training. This guide shows how these problems are minimised.
'It's not just employers in sectors with a tradition of Apprenticeships that can benefit either. Modern Apprenticeships have been designed for jobs ranging from accounting technician to craft baker,landscape gardener to IT programmer.
'Modern Apprenticeships are the most important development in industrial training for a decade or more. They are revitalising the most respected tradition in training - the apprenticeship - and building in modern flexibilities, modern learning methods and modern qualifications to train the technicians and managers of today and tomorrow. Employers are telling us that this is the way forward for training into the next millenium and able and ambitious young people are responding with alacrity to the opportunity to earn and learn and secure a firm foundation for a career in industry and commerce.
'There is no better time for small businesses to get involved in Modern Apprenticeships. Over 33,000 apprentices have started their training nationwide since the launch of the initiative and this year we expect to attract over 50,000 young people with the talent and motivation to succeed.
'What this guide shows in a straightforward and practical way is how small businesses can take advantage of opportunities to recruit and train a Modern Apprentice to meet their business needs. This is excellent news for small businesses, young people and the economy at large.'
-- `Modern Apprenticeships - A Guide for Small Businesses` is published today by the Department for Education and Employment in partnership with the National Council of Industry Training Organisations and the TEC National Council.Copies are available from local Training and Enterprise Councils.