Supermarket giant Tesco has vowed to double the number of apprenticeships after the government bowed to its demands to slash red tape.
Head of resourcing Lorna Bryson told Personnel Today the retailer had agreed to increase the number of apprenticeships it offered from 400 to 800 this year on the understanding that the government will make certain changes to the system by 2009.
These changes include:
- removing excess paperwork through the use of electronic auditing and storage
- receiving faster confirmation that apprenticeships had completed their programmes
- tailoring payment systems to meet employers’ needs
- scrapping monthly reporting requirements
- reducing inspection visits.
Bryson said: “It would be very difficult to double the number of apprenticeships on offer if the government didn’t make those changes. But some of the changes will be in place by the end of this year.”
Tesco is already planning to recruit 800 apprentices to start in September, she added.
Bryson agreed the government had its work cut out in making the changes, but was happy with progress.
“We sent a list of barriers to offering apprenticeships to [skills secretary John] Denham,” she said, “and he’s already put processes in place to remove them.”