The Business Secretary Vince Cable has voiced his support for plans to help hundreds of deprived Burnley youngsters access apprenticeship schemes.
Dr Cable met with bosses at Burnley Telematics which is forging ahead with plans to boost job chances for Burnley “neets” – people not in education, employment or training.
The leading Liberal Democrat MP had a round-table discussion with business leaders, public sector figures and young people about the problems facing employers and apprentices in the town.
Amaad Hussain, an oil derivatives trader speaking at the meeting, said: “There are a huge amount of issues facing children in Burnley.
“Young people are just as talented as in the south but they just need the right direction from people
“But if there is the right direction given to children here then they can go on to bigger and better things and challenge young people in the south.”
Ejaz Hussain, managing director of Burnley Telematics and advisor to the government apprenticeship advisor, said his organisation was looking to work with deprived young people on skills needed when starting an apprenticeship.
He welcomed support from Dr Cable, saying: “I am really please that Vince Cable has come to Burnley.
“I am working him as an advisor on apprenticeships. It is an important role to engage the hard to reach people and businesses and motivate them back into apprenticeships.
“We have got hundreds of young people in Burnley, Pendle and East Lancashire not in education, employment or training that we want to involve in apprenticeships so we need to engage them at the pre-apprenticeship stage.
“We have talked about the pre-apprenticeship scheme to help young people in Burnley before they go into apprenticeships.
“I am sure this project will be successful. We will take this model to other parts of the country.”