More needed on apprenticeships

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard

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FYLDE COAST MPs are calling for an expansion to the UK’s apprenticeships programme.

The calls come at the start of national Apprenticeship Week as both the Conservatives and Labour see them as a way of improving young people’s employment prospects.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has released a forecast that apprenticeships completed over the next decade could contribute productivity gains worth up to £3.4bn a year to the economy by 2022.

Today, Blackpool North MP Paul Maynard supported the Prime Minister’s vision for it to become the new norm for young people to either go to university or start an apprenticeship.

He said across Blackpool North and Cleveleys 1,060 people started apprenticeships in the academic year 2011/12, and another 270 started in the first quarter of this academic year.

He said: “Conservatives in Government are investing in apprenticeships to ensure the country has the skills it needs to compete in the world and people across Blackpool and Cleveleys are benefitting from this.

“I know from work I have seen at Blackpool and The Fylde College that apprenticeships are a win for the individual and a win for the business.

“National Apprenticeship Week provides a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact apprenticeships have on individuals, businesses and the economy.”

Fylde MP Mark Menzies said he had seen for himself how beneficial apprenticeships are at BAE Systems in Warton and Westinghouse at Salwick.

He said: “Apprenticeships are extremely beneficial for both the individual and for the business.”

This national Apprenticeship Week is in its sixth year.

Prime Minister David Cameron said he wanted work-based training to sit “at the heart” of rebuilding the economy”.

He said: “There are record numbers of people taking up an apprenticeship, with a million starting one in the last few years.

“But we need to challenge ourselves further.

“I want it to be the norm for young people to either go to university or into an apprenticeship.”

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