Cameron pledges public sector apprenticeship boost

7 Dec 15
Prime minister David Cameron has today said the government is delivering on pre-election pledges across housing, childcare and education as he announced the creation of a new public sector apprenticeship drive.

In a speech setting out implementation of Conservative manifesto promises, Cameron said the government is making progress towards its target of 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

Ministers today published a plan to meet this target, including a proposal to compel large public sector bodies to make at least 2.3% of their total workforce apprentices. This policy would create an extra 200,000 public sector apprenticeships by the end of the parliament.

Cameron said the government has been “marking off the commitments we made” since wining the election in May.

“I want to go back to that opening page and show that this is a government that delivers and is accountable as it endeavours to do so.”

Also in the speech, Cameron said home ownership would be expanded through a new shared ownership drive, with more details to be published tomorrow.

Shared ownership schemes, where people buy a portion of a housing association home and pay rent on the remaining share, and can increase their ownership over time, would be expanded to an extra 175,000 people, he said.

Rules governing who is eligible, which are currently set by local authorities, will be relaxed, while a restriction meaning people can only take advantage of shared ownership once will also end.

The prime minister stated that many people are attracted to the idea of shared ownership, but current restrictions mean it is not being as widely used as it could be.

“Because it’s been heavily restricted, many of those people have missed out. We’ve had local councils dictating who is eligible, based on everything from salary to profession to where the buyer comes from.

“From April next year, that will make 175,000 more people eligible for home ownership. It means some people will be able to buy a house, for example, in Yorkshire, with a deposit of just £1,400. It will be opened up to people of any occupation, the only restriction being that you have to earn under £80,000, and £90,000 in London.”

Cameron also highlighted that the government is implementing its commitment to give 30 hours of free childcare to working families, with provision to be expanded to around 5,000 more children next year. In addition, powers to intervene to turn round so-called coasting schools will be expanded to cover academies as well as council maintained institutions.

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