Boost for Apprenticeships in the North East

Factory PictureNick Brown MP, Minister for the North East has welcomed a funding boost which could see more apprenticeship places available for young people and adults in the North East.

Figures show that the number of people completing an apprenticeship in North East has risen by 122% over the last three years from 3245 in 2002/03 to 7217 in 2005/06.

The Prime Minister Gordon Brown has now announced £140 million of extra funding for an additional 35,000 apprentices across the country in the next twelve months.

Welcoming the announcement, Labour's Regional Minister for the North East, Nick Brown MP said;

“I am delighted at the Prime Minister’s announcement of more apprentices. The North East has a proud history of giving our young people opportunities to learn in high-skill industries and apprenticeships are an important part of strengthening the North East economy. The government has significantly increased the number of apprenticeships over the last few years and I’m pleased that even more of the region's young people will be able to get the chance to increase their skills."

Labour’s Children, Schools and Families Secretary Ed Balls said:

“In the current economic climate it is vital we continue to provide young people with a clear path into skilled work. For many young people an apprenticeship will provide an ideal pathway to successful employment. We must make sure we can meet demand so that more people can benefit and earn while they learn.

“We’ve already committed to providing £1bn of investment for apprenticeships next year, but this further boost will ensure more people get the training they need to help them pursue a future career in the global marketplace.

“And we have legislated to raise the education and training age to 18 so that in future every young person will continue to learn - whether by staying on at school, going to college or doing an apprenticeship or other work-based learning.”

Labour’s Skills Secretary John Denham said:

“Now more than ever it is important that we give people the real help they need to get and keep jobs. This is an important initiative and is a further signal of our determination to give people the chance to get the practical training they need to get on and to help ensure the country has the skilled workers it needs to benefit from the upturn.” 

"The Conservative proposals come at the very worst time. They are irresponsible and damaging. They would stop many young people getting the skills they need to get on in life. And they would damage the long-term future of the economy - as the economy recovers from the global economic downturn it will need skilled staff to prevent jobs going elsewhere.

"The Conservatives need to come clear about where the cuts would fall. Until they do, people who want to take up an apprenticeship, a university place, work based learning, or a college course, and any employer who wants to train their staff to help them through the downturn, should be worried about where these cuts will be".