Thousands benefiting from apprenticeships

1,520 apprenticeship schemes have started in the city in the last 12 months alone.

Thousands of young people in Brighton and Hove have benefited from apprenticeships in the last four years - with 1,520 schemes started in the last 12 months alone.

New figures show that 7,030 apprenticeship schemes have been started in Brighton and Hove since 2010, split relatively evenly across the city.

Broken down into electoral wards the statistics show businesses in Brighton Kemptown have offered 2,700 since 2010 - 590 starting in the last 12 months. Hove has seen 2,340 apprenticeships in the same period - with 520 started in the last year, and Brighton Pavilion 1,990 in total and 410 in the last year.

The coalition government has prioritised finding apprenticeship places for young people and David Cameron has pledged to fund an extra three million places across the

UK by 2020.

Clarence Mitchell, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavilion, welcomed the statistics. He said: 'These figures are great news - 1,990 new apprenticeships since 2010 means more young people in Brighton Pavilion getting the skills they'll need for the future, as they are locally at Brighton and Hove City Council and many other city employers.'

Unemployment among the 18-24 age group is also falling locally, according to figures published by the House of Commons Library.

The number of people claiming Job Seekers Allowance (JSA) in the age range last month dropped significantly in each electoral ward in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton Kemptown had 315 JSA claimants aged 18-24 in September, a figure 150 less than the same time last year. That represents a drop of 32.3%. In Hove that figure was 235 - down 105 claimants, or 30.9%, from last year. And in Brighton Pavilion was 315 - down 125, or 28.4% from last year.

JSA claimants also fell overall. Brighton Kemptown recorded 1,268 total claimants which was 514 fewer than last year. Hove had 1,224 '“ 583 less; while Brighton Pavilion saw JSA claimants in September drop by 463 to 1,280.

Union bosses, however, claim the figures do not accurately illustrate the current economic climate because they fail to take into account the often low levels of pay being given to workers, many of whom have increasingly insecure employment and reduced working hours.