Since 2010, we have seen 1.5 million new apprenticeships created in the UK, giving young people the skills and knowledge to move into the world of work and get on in life.
Across the North West, 84,000 people began apprenticeships last year and we have seen the number of apprenticeships in Pendle more than double in the last three years.
I therefore took the time last week, as part of National Apprenticeship Week, to visit a number of businesses in Pendle to see the important work that many of our young apprentices undertake.
This included apprentices at engineering firm Optamill in Colne and hairdressing apprentices from Nelson and Colne College at Angles in Barrowford.
Even with the massive increase we have seen, our local education and training providers still have a wide array of vacancies for young people to work in small and medium size businesses in Pendle.
I was delighted to be able to raise this stonking increase in the House of Commons.
The Minister for Universities and Science has now agreed to visit Pendle to look at the great work carried out by apprenticeship providers such as Nelson and Colne College, as well as the new apprenticeship shop recently opened in Nelson.
Recently, I’ve also met some of the apprentices at larger firms such as Rolls-Royce and Silentnight, who only recently started an apprenticeship scheme following the additional support from the current Government for companies to do this.
My work across Pendle allows me to see the positive impact apprenticeships can have both for individuals and the local economy, and many of the local providers will be at my third Pendle Jobs Fair on Friday March 28th at The Muni.
If you are interested in starting an apprenticeship or know someone who may be, please encourage them to come along.