EXPANDING apprenticeship opportunities for people in Blackpool is the key to kick starting the local economy, MP Gordon Marsden has said.
The Blackpool South MP addressed an audience of 400 people at the Blackpool and The Fylde College Apprenticeships Awards before handing awards to apprenticeships students and staff.
Mr Marsden, who is the Shadow Apprenticeship Minister, believes expanding apprenticeships is also vital to enhancing life chances for people in the resort.
The Apprenticeship Awards were held at Blackpool Tower as part of National Apprenticeship Week. The event celebrated the work of apprentices, tutors and employers in delivering programmes for people to get training.
Mr Marsden said: “National Apprenticeship Week is a fantastic opportunity to showcase and celebrate individuals and the teachers, families and employers who support them through the vocational route.
“Apprenticeships are also about galvanising our economic performance here in Blackpool.” Blackpool Council and other local employers and organisations were also praised at the awards for their contributions to apprenticeship schemes.
Mr Marsden speaks from experience about the benefits for employers, as an apprentice in his Blackpool and Westminster offices, Emily Ball, trains for a Level Two NVQ while gaining on-the-job experience working for him.
Mr Marsden added: “Despite the economic difficulties and the cuts we have to keep going. Blackpool is a vibrant, creative place but we have to set our stall for skills.”