DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he was impressed by the great sense of community spirit in Newhaven as he visited Halfords.
The Liberal Democrat was at the business in The Drove on Wednesday June 6 to speak with staff and apprentices.
He told of how he wanted more employers to take on apprentices, adding Halfords was a company which had really embraced this.
Mr Clegg said: “What impresses me most about Newhaven is the people.
“They are committed and hard-working and there is a great sense of community spirit, despite often being let down by the county council in recent years.
“When I visited just over a year ago I met local businesses at the Enterprise Centre and I was really impressed by the ambition and enthusiasm of companies here.
“With that attitude and the opportunities for young people being presented by companies like Halfords here, people in Newhaven have every reason to feel optimistic about the future.”
On the Halfords apprentices scheme he added: “I’ve been really impressed.
“As a Liberal Democrat I’m absolutely determined to make sure young people are given the skills they need to get into work and have long, successful careers.
“That’s why I introduced the £1bn Youth Contract to get young people earning or learning and it is why we are massively boosting apprenticeships - there will be a quarter of a million more by the end of this Parliament than there would have been under Labour.
“In Lewes alone, the number of apprenticeships started more than doubled in 2010/11, from 250 to 580.
“Halfords is a company that has really embraced this, not just here in Newhaven but around the country.
“I want more employers to get on board and give young people the opportunity to get the skills they need for the future.”
Nick Clegg last visited Newhaven when he attended Newhaven Enterprise Centre in April 2011 to meet with members of the local business community and answer their questions. He was joined by Newhaven MP Norman Baker.
Halfords is a national company with stores around the UK.
It provides MOTs, repairs and services to cars, as well as selling car parts, camping gear and bicycles.