Sunderland Echo: Give people the skills required to do the jobs of the future
Sunderland Echo: Give people the skills required to do the jobs of the future

This week is National Apprenticeships Week, an opportunity to celebrate apprentices and the impact they have on our communities and economy.

As Shadow Education Secretary, I am determined to give people the skills required for the jobs of the future because the Conservatives’ failure on skills is holding back our economy and preventing economic growth.

On their watch, apprenticeship starts have plummeted, with 200,000 fewer people starting these training opportunities.

Over 11 million adults lack basic digital skills required in our economy. Four in 10 young people are leaving education without the qualifications they need; half feel unprepared for their futures.

Our public services have growing skills shortages; businesses are being held back, unable to fill job vacancies.

People are ambitious for their futures. They want to learn new skills, get new jobs, and progress at work but they are being let down.

The Conservatives have overseen a decade of decline in skills and training opportunities. That is making Britain poorer.

But by harnessing the ambition and determination of the British people, a Labour government will create a skills system that works for businesses and for our country.

Labour will give businesses the flexibility to train their workforce and deliver growth.

We will reform the Tories’ failed apprenticeships levy, creating a “Growth and Skills Levy” so adults can gain new skills and businesses can grow.

We will recruit over a thousand new careers advisors and deliver two weeks’ worth of work experience for every young person, paid for by ending private schools’ tax breaks, ensuring they leave education ready for work and ready for life.

Boosting Britain’s skills will be a national mission for Labour, led by a new skills taskforce: Skills England.

We will spread decision-making on skills spending out to local communities, so they can match up skills training with local businesses’ needs.

By giving power to communities, Labour will grow local and regional economies across England.

These reforms will boost the talents and abilities of the British people so we can strengthen our economy and face the future.

More training opportunities so people can gain new skills, access better jobs and grow our economy. That’s the difference a Labour government will make.

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