National Apprenticeship Week
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09 Feb 2012
This week has been National Apprenticeship Week, which was set up in 2008 to showcase apprenticeships to young people.
The number of apprenticeship starts rose dramatically from 65,000 in 1996/97 to just under 280,000 in 2009/10 but with over a million young people now out of work (including 275 young people in the Rother Valley), it is clear the Government needs to do more to help firms create the apprenticeship opportunities young people desperately need.
That is why I am calling on them to back proposals to help smaller businesses to take on an apprentice and to deliver more apprenticeship places through the billions of pounds which government spends on procurement.
Building up our skills base can play a crucial role in boosting growth across the regions, but the Government has completely failed to recognise this link, preferring instead to micromanage both growth funding and apprenticeship policy from Whitehall. Ministers need to take action urgently to ensure that businesses, especially smaller firms, feel able to create the apprenticeship opportunities young people are crying out for.