Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Skills for Work: Whats NEW?

Exactly one month ago I launched my Skills for Work Campaign to highlight the importance of work experience and apprentichsips for young people.

Since then we have had some great feed back, got the Prime Minister to back our campaign, started the process of taking on our own apprentice Office Manager, and highlighted in the local and regional press the importantace of vocational training.

I wanted to report back on the some of the things the government and indeed business are now doing to drive forward this important agenda.

Firstly the government has put its money where its mouth is and had made a commitment to increase the budget for Apprenticeships to over £1,400 million in 2011-12.

UK firms including British Gas, Superdrug and Procter and Gamble will create thousands of new apprenticeship places this year. BT is offering 250 apprenticeships, BA are expanding their engineering apprenticeships to take on an additional 120 young people this year. Jaguar Land Rover, as reported on the blog earlier are also going to create 1,200 new Apprenticeship places. Although I am a bias supporter of engineering and manufacutruing we are seeing apprenticships across the economy with the news that 12,000 apprentices would complete their training at Morrison’s this year.

They are just some examples and we are seeing a real push for firms, big and small to help train the next generation. We want to see 100,000 more apprentices by 2014.
We will be working to create some 75,000 additional adult places than those promised by the previous government.

Our Skills for Work campaign will continue to highlight the importance of vocational education and work experience to young people, especially here in the North East.