Apprenticeships are on the increase in Lewes district

FIGURES obtained by Lewes MP Norman Baker show that apprenticeships in the constituency are up by 128 per cent for 2010/11, with a rise from 250 to 580.

This news comes at the end of Apprenticeship Week which ran from February 6-10, with the figures showing that apprenticeships nationwide increased by 63.5 per cent from 2009/10.

Apprenticeship Week seeks to persuade employers of the advantages of employing and supporting apprentices in their work place; highlight the talent and skills of apprentices to employers and the wider public; and highlight the range of apprenticeships available in different sectors and the progression routes available to potential apprentices.

The coalition government has made increasing apprenticeships a key part of its skills policy and only at the end of last year Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced as part of the £1bn Youth Contract more funding to support the growth in apprenticeships for 16- to 24-year-olds.

Mr Baker said: “A 128 per cent increase in apprenticeships locally is way above the high national average increase and is good news.

“It really highlights that local businesses are getting involved in giving opportunities to youngsters, and that the Lewes constituency is exceeding national averages.

“Apprenticeships are a great way of getting hands on training and developing skills. We need to ensure that we have a rounded skills base nationwide and locally in order to rebalance the economy away from financial speculators in the City of London and these figures are certainly very encouraging.”