Skills Minister John Hayes has announced his support for apprenticeships in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth disciplines.
Under Government plans, regulations to the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning (ASCL) Act 2009 will be submitted to Parliament to allow a special exception to rules that apprenticeships have to be undertaken while in employment.
If supported by Parliament, this will mean that athletes in Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth disciplines will be able to take up the Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence without needing to be employed in their chosen discipline.
John Hayes said: “Although my determination is that apprenticeships should ultimately be directly linked to employment, clearly, if we hope for a successful Olympics for this country we will need to nurture sporting talent.
The Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence has a good record in developing talented people from all backgrounds to compete at international level. However, there are few opportunities for hopefuls in amateur disciplines to be employed.
“There needs to be flexibility within legislation to free up opportunities for talented sports men and women to pursue their dreams.”
Minister for Sport and the Olympics, Hugh Robertson said: “This is very good news for sport. It means that our most talented potential Olympians, Paralympians, and Commonwealth athletes will be able to continue to access Government apprenticeship funding to help their development. This not only demonstrates the Government’s commitment to medals in 2012 but also to building a system that will continue to deliver elite success in the long term.”
Source: Department for Business, Innovation and Skills