Saturday, 12 March 2016

The Apprenticeship Revolution Continues - lots of good apprenticeship news in national Apprenticeship week

This coming week is National Apprenticeship Week, a time when all businesses should be thinking doubly hard about taking on an apprentice. In the last government we created 2.4 million apprenticeships, and under this one we are aiming even higher – looking to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020.

Apprenticeships offer an outstanding opportunity for young people. They are real jobs with a real wage, offering an opportunity to gain valuable work experience, genuine skills, and finally lead to recognised qualifications.

They are just as good an opportunity for employers, with 70% of participating businesses saying that apprenticeships had improved the quality of their products or services. As the first MP to hire, train, and retain an apprentice, I too can testify to the great service apprentices provide, as well as the youth and enthusiasm they bring to any workplace. Small businesses concerned about taking on the responsibility, can also receive Government funding; ensuring they have a stronger and better skilled workforce.

Apprenticeships are now offered in more than 170 industries, and employers are in the driving seat of reforms. Employer trailblazer groups are developing the new apprenticeship standards, ensuring that apprenticeship training really is exactly what employers want. These new industry standards range from nuclear engineers, to fashion assistants, live event technicians, personal trainers and welders – there are thousands of current opportunities.

Beyond this we can still do more, and that is why, this week, I am asking any and every employer across Tynedale to consider taking on an apprentice. There were 660 apprenticeship starts across the area last year, and together we can make this year even better for our aspiring young people by providing even more.