Apprenticeships offer a clear path to a successful career for thousands of young people in our area. Unfortunately, too many are still being left behind by a Government that takes an indifferent attitude towards them and their future.
Apprenticeships are of enormous benefit, not only for each apprentice but also for the businesses training them. They can fill a skills gap and allow businesses the opportunity to tailor their workforce around their specific needs. They also offer real returns to businesses through increased productivity and competitiveness.
For apprentices there is the opportunity to learn on the job, build up knowledge and skills, gain qualifications and earn money all at the same time. They also gain excellent prospects for the future because they have the knowledge and experience that employers really value.
The Government isn’t doing enough to create quality apprenticeships for young people. More than 900,000 young people are now out of work and there are 25,000 fewer apprentices starting than there were last year.
I would like to see the creation of a new universal standard for apprenticeships so they are qualifications that employers and young people can trust. I am also calling on the Government to use the billions spent through public procurement to boost apprenticeship opportunities.
Investing in apprenticeships is an integral part of creating a better economy that works for everyone instead of just a few. Young people in the Rother Valley are amongst those who stand to benefit, but only if the Government steps up to provide the apprenticeships we need.