This week I met a young Southport man who had just been offered an apprenticeship with Bentley the car manufacturer. He and his family were delighted and rightly so. Many other young people in the town have secured apprenticeships with local employers. Southport College has done an excellent job supporting local employers.
I urge employers to keep investing in local young people by hiring them as apprentices.
New research done by the House of Commons Library revealed there were 520,600 apprenticeship starts across the UK in 2011/12. This is 63,400 more than the number of starts in the 2010/11 academic year, and 240,900 more than in the 2009/10 academic year.
Much of this increase is due to many more people aged 25 and over starting apprenticeships and i welcome the news that a majority of apprenticeship starters were female.
Degrees are great, but they are not the only way to get on in life. Learning skills and developing experience in whatever way is good for you is far more important.”