Gentoo ApprenticeshipsBridget Phillipson, MP for Houghton and Sunderland South while visiting local employer Gentoo to see first-hand their ongoing commitment to apprenticeships – ahead of National Apprenticeship week, has criticised the Tory-led government’s approach to apprenticeships.

The Labour Government launched National Apprenticeship Week in 2008 to promote and showcase apprenticeships. Signalling Labour’s clear and unwavering commitment to boosting apprenticeships.

In 1996/97 only 65,000 people started an apprenticeship. In Labour’s final year in office, there were almost 280,000 (279,700) apprenticeship starts in the academic year 2009/10.

While the Tory-led Government talks about providing an extra 75,000 Apprenticeship places by 2014/15, it is clear however that many will miss out.

One of the first acts of the Tory-led government was to axe Train to Gain which provided work based training to 575,000 people in 2009/10, and the Future Jobs Fund, Labour’s scheme to provide 100,000 jobs to those aged 18-24 who had been out of work for a year.

Commenting on the visit, Bridget said:
“The Tory-led Government is full of warm words about apprenticeships but the cuts they have imposed both in local and national Government are creating a climate in which it will be far more difficult for young people to access jobs even if they get apprenticeships.

“Employers such as Gentoo are doing fantastic work in my constituency – embracing apprenticeships and helping to tackle youth unemployment.

“The Tory-led government should support business by investing in apprenticeships and not cut schemes which work like Train to Gain and the Future Jobs Fund. The Tory-led government has a long way to go to live up its promises.”

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