Nick Clegg reveals North East apprenticeships soar over last four years

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg reveals apprenticeships in the region have more than doubled in last four years

Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg

The number of apprenticeships in the North East has more than doubled in the last four years.

Hundreds more young people across the region are taking up placements to prepare them for the world of work.

In the four years to 2009/10, 65,030 people began placements in the region – compared to 143,330 in the same period since then.

Nationally, the Coalition Government says it is days away from announcing the two millionth apprenticeship starting in England since it came into office in 2010.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said: “I’m delighted to be able to celebrate such a phenomenal rise in young people being given the opportunity to work as they learn in the North East.

“Gone are the days when a vocational education is seen as the poor relation when it comes to choosing a career path.”

The Journal launched its Proud to Back Apprenticeships campaign last year to keep the North East working and to close the skills gap in the region.

North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham - a strong supporter of the Journal’s campaign - said: “These figures are outstanding and evidence that both businesses and prospective employees are increasingly recognising the value of apprenticeships as a way to grow talent and skills.

James Ramsbotham
James Ramsbotham
 

“As one of the region’s largest independent apprenticeships providers we encourage all businesses to consider investing in apprenticeship programmes and these figures will further raise awareness of, and hopefully interest in apprenticeships.

“Apprenticeships are an ideal way of addressing key business needs and recruiting and developing a highly skilled workforce that can be moulded to meet individual needs. They bring considerable value to employers, individuals and the economy as a whole.”

Mr Clegg also announced a national database of post-16 skills and employer led-courses and opportunities that will be in place at the beginning of the next school year in September 2015.

The aim is to make it easy for young people to find comprehensive information about their post-16 options in one place to make informed decisions on their future.

It will be similar to the UCAS system that helps young students access information on the college courses, apprenticeships, traineeships and other work-based training programmes happening in their area.

Mr Clegg said: “Good quality apprenticeships give hard-working young people the chance to aim high for their dream job whilst playing their part in building a stronger economy for Britain.

“Whilst it is truly exciting to be able to celebrate the tide turning with wider-ranging opportunities for our school leavers aside from university, more is needed to show young people that all the doors open to them.

“By creating a one stop shop for the growing choices 16-year-olds have, more young people will be able to access the options available to them and make better informed choices about their career paths.”

Mr Ramsbotham added: “Given the evident success of apprenticeships, now is the time for the Government to provide further incentives by cutting bureaucracy for small firms and encourage more companies to embrace staff development via tax breaks.”

Journalists

David Whetstone
Culture Editor
Graeme Whitfield
Business Editor
Mark Douglas
Newcastle United Editor
Stuart Rayner
Sports Writer