Of late, there have been quite a few critics of the government’s apprenticeship programme, with accusations that apprenticeships have been devalued by being extended to cover occupations of limited skill which require only a relatively short period of training. The good news however is that the government's drive to increase the number of apprenticeships has benefitted traditional craft industries like furniture manufacturing through its support programmes.
The amount of funded contribution varies depending on which apprenticeship framework(s) is undertaken and the age of the learner. If the apprentice is aged 16–18, 100% of the cost of the training will usually be funded; if they are 19-24 up to 50%. For further details on what is available for apprenticeships and training generally, please see Furniture Skills Academy.
On 2nd April 2012 the government also launched a package of measures to help young people get into employment. Apprenticeship grants are one element of this worth up to £1500 for SME's taking on their first apprentice aged between 16-24. For further details.....