CHIEF Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has described a Burnley aerospace company as a role model for the country.
The Liberal Democrat MP was visiting Aircelle in Bancroft Road on the insistence of Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle, his parliamentary private secretary.
Speaking to the Express during his visit to Aircelle, which manufactures aircraft engine components, Mr Alexander said more companies should take on young apprentices in engineering.
Junior only to the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Treasury, the MP said he wanted to see more jobs created in the manufacturing sector.
“I am tremendously impressed by Aircelle, particularly by the number of apprentices it takes on. The Government will create 75,000 extra apprenticeships every year across the country.
“Aircelle is a shining example of the economic future – a manufacturing company that recognises the importance of skills and the value of apprenticeships.”
Mr Alexander also described Burnley’s MP as an example of someone who started as an engineering apprentice and had gone on to better things. But Mr Alexander denied claims apprenticeships were being increased to cater for the possible fall in university applications and said the country needed a mix of skills.
“I accept the rise in tuition fees has been a controversial and difficult subject but apprenticeships should be valued as much as higher education.
Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions Liam Byrne accused the Government of not doing enough to create new jobs when he visited Burnley, but Mr Alexander said “Labour should not be so dismissive of the private sector”.
He added the Government had made changes to help the private sector.
“We’ve changed the corporation tax to encourage businesses to invest and we’ve worked hard to do a deal with the banks to loan £10bn. more to small businesses this year than last.” Mr Alexander also visited AMS Neve and VEKA during his trip.