Apprentices have doubled in the North East since 2010. This is not the work of Alan Sugar, or Donald Trump, but local businesses keen to give youngsters a real chance. I have helped by taking on Prudhoe's Jade Scott, who started out with me in the Hexham Office shortly after the 2010 election, and has combined work experience with study to qualify and then be given a long term position.
On February 1st I am pleased to be welcoming Matt Hancock to the region - he is a mate of mine and the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister. He has written a good piece in todays telegraph: