Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, has welcomed the news that apprenticeship starts in the city have now passed 6,000 since 2010, ahead of the Worcester Apprenticeship Show this Thursday (October 19th).

The news comes as the Government remains on track to meet the target of 3 million new apprenticeships nationwide by 2020, an increase on the 2.3 million achieved between 2010 and 2015. In comparison, in the six years to 2010 under the last Labour government only 2,700 apprenticeships were started in Worcester.

Robin has long been an advocate in Parliament for increasing the quality as well as the quantity of apprenticeships, which the Government have made a cornerstone of the skills revolution. The Government’s reforms put employers at the heart of developing new apprenticeship standards, which set out what an apprentice must learn to be competent in an occupation. Over 1,300 employers are developing apprenticeship standards in sectors from nuclear to fashion, digital, law, banking and transport. Over 200 standards have been published, including more than 60 for Higher and Degree apprenticeships. Ministers are also legislating to protect the term apprenticeship from misuse.

This year saw the launch of a secure and sustainable long-term funding model for apprenticeships in the form of the Apprenticeship Levy. Employers in England will be able to access funding equivalent to their levy payment via the Digital Apprenticeship Service. Employers committed to apprenticeship training will be able to get out more than they pay in, through a top-up to their digital account.

A further range of new incentives have been implemented by the Government to encourage as many businesses as possible to hire and train apprentices. The Government will pay 100 per cent of training costs for employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices aged 16 to 18 years old. This also applies to smaller employers who take on 19- to 24-year-olds who were in care, or 19- to 24-year-olds with an education and health care plan.

Employers and training providers who take on 16- to 18-year-olds and 19- to 24-year-olds who were in care or who have an education and health care plan, will receive £1,000 each from Government.

And more than £60 million will be invested in supporting the training of apprentices from the poorest areas in the country, equalling around one third of all apprentices.

There will be an opportunity to find out more about local apprenticeships opportunities this Thursday (October 19th) at the Apprenticeship Show 2017. The event will be held at Worcester Racecourse from 4pm to 7.30pm and is open to all parents and young people.

Robin Walker said:

“Providing our young people with the best start to get on in life and have a rewarding career is an area close to my heart. Apprenticeships can give young people this opportunity to learn a valuable skill while earning at the same time, which is why I have consistently championed them throughout my time in Parliament. They can raise the productivity of the businesses they join and I have always been proud to support them.”

“It is fantastic that locally there have been 6,040 apprenticeship starts in Worcester alone since 2010, and almost 30,000 across Worcestershire as a whole in the same time period. This is nearly double the amount created in the last seven years of the previous Labour government and really demonstrates the Conservative commitment to offering young people the opportunities they need to go far in life.”

“I want every young person leaving school to view an apprenticeship or going to university in equal merit.  I am glad employers are now in control of creating new standards which is driving up the quality of apprenticeships. It has also been made easier for businesses to hire apprentices by abolishing employers’ National Insurance contributions for apprenticeships under 25.”

“I recently visited the new state-of-the-art training facility at Worcester Bosch – a company where the current and former Managing Directors both started out as apprentices – with Energy Minister Richard Harrington, and was pleased to have a number of positive discussions with young apprentices there about the high-quality technical training they were receiving, and how this will translate into a rewarding and secure career.”

“I welcome the commitment to going further and delivering three million more apprenticeships by 2020 – I am pleased to report we are well on track to achieve that target both in Worcester and nationally.”

ENDS

Notes to editors

For full details of the Apprenticeship Show, please see http://worcsapprenticeships.org.uk/event/the-apprenticeship-show-2017-19th-october-2017/

For more details about Robin’s record of action on promoting apprenticeships, see https://www.walker4worcester.com/category/campaigns/apprenticeships/