David Cameron urges businesses to back 'One Nation' apprenticeships plan

The Prime Minister has confirmed the importance of apprenticeships to his vision of a "One Nation" Government.

David Cameron has launched a consultation on the Government's planned apprenticeship levy which force larger employers to fund apprenticeships from 2017.

The CBI last month voiced concerns that the levy will do little to help small firms but Mr Cameron will insist his plans to create three million apprenticeships will give employers a workforce with the skills required.

Mr Cameron said:

Cameron also highlighted measures that will make the Government take a company's apprenticeship offer into account when awarding large contracts and revealed a new range of industry apprenticeship standards for a range of professions including nuclear engineers and fashion assistants

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

Meanwhile, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced his desire to boost apprenticeships in road and rail industries, pledging 30,000 places by 2020.

John Longworth, director general at the British Chambers of Commerce, said the focus should be on creating quality apprenticeships rather than hitting an arbitrary target.

He said: