Lib Dem Business Secretary Vince Cable has today announced a raft of new measures to build on a successful year for the national apprenticeship scheme.
Apprenticeships reached record highs in the academic year 2010/11, with Manchester seeing an 77% average increase in apprentice numbers over the previous year. In Manchester Withington constituency, 610 learners took on an apprenticeship in 2010/11, an increase of 75%. Manchester Central constituency saw a 72% increase and Manchester Gorton constituency a massive 97% increase, all substantially higher than the England average of 58%.
The Lib Dems are now looking to strengthen the apprenticeship scheme even further, with an £1,500 incentive to small businesses to take on apprentices amongst the range of proposals announced by Vince Cable.
The Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle youth unemployment and get our economy back on track. Apprenticeships make companies more productive and give young people the experience and skills they need.
Small businesses form the backbone of our economy and the announcements by Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, are very welcome. Young people and local employers should be at the heart of the government’s economic policy and these measures are an important step in the right direction.
Commenting on the announcement, Chorlton's MP John Leech said:
“I have long been a supporter of apprenticeships, and have worked with the Manchester College to promote them. Apprenticeships benefit everyone involved and this record rise in learners taking them up is great news for Manchester and the economy as a whole.
Business secretary Vince Cable said, ““The apprenticeships programme is a success story, with record numbers of learners starting an apprenticeship this year. But I have listened to employers, and will go further to ensure that investment is targeted where impact is greatest, delivering the specific skills businesses need to drive growth. “