Hands: Apprenticeships part of the ‘new norm’

Greg Hands M.P. has backed the Prime Minister’s vision of a new norm for young people in which they either go to university or start an apprenticeship. The PM set out his ambition to mark National Apprenticeship Week.

In Chelsea and Fulham, 220 people started apprenticeships in the 2011-12 academic year. That is a percentage increase of 120 per cent compared to Labour’s last year in office. Similarly, in Hammersmith the number was up by 116 per cent and in Kensington by 115 per cent.

This news comes as the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) released a forecast that apprenticeships completed over the next decade could contribute productivity gains worth up to £3.4 billion a year to the economy.

Commenting, Greg Hands M.P. said: “Conservatives in Government are investing in apprenticeships to ensure that the country has the skills it needs to compete in the world. People across this part of London are benefitting. I know from the cases I have come across locally that apprenticeships are a win for the individual and a win for the business.

“National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact that apprenticeships are having.”

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our mission to rebuild the economy, giving young people the chance to learn a trade, to build their careers, and create a truly world-class, high-skilled workforce that can compete and thrive in the fierce global race we are in.

“There are record numbers of people taking up an apprenticeship, with a million starting one in the last few years. And as we take forward the Richard Review, our drive to reform and strengthen apprenticeships, raising standards and making them more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers - means that an apprenticeship is increasingly seen as a first choice career move.

“But we need to challenge ourselves to go even further - that is why I want it to be the new norm for young people to either go to university or into an apprenticeship. We need to look at how we can expand apprenticeship opportunities so that they are available to all young people who are ready and eager to take them up, and aspire to get ahead in life.”

For more information on getting an apprenticeship, go to www.apprenticeships.org.uk.