The other week was National Apprenticeship Week and, with a Ministerial visit to Pendle and a family funeral, I was local most of the week, rather than being in Westminster.
Since 2010, we have seen more than 1.6 million new apprenticeships created in the United Kingdom, giving young people the skills and knowledge to move into the world of work and get on in life.
Across Pendle, 3,810 people have started an apprenticeship during the same period, a big increase on recent years.
Every National Apprenticeship Week, I visit a number of Pendle businesses to see the important work many of our apprentices undertake.
This week I’ve visited Maria’s Cash and Carry in Brierfield, Lane Nursery in Nelson and Innova Solutions in Trawden.
They are some very different organisations, but at each it was very clear apprentices were providing a real boost.
Since 2010, we have seen more than 1.6 million new apprenticeships created in the United Kingdom, giving young people the skills and knowledge to move into the world of work and get on in life
I was also delighted to attend Nelson and Colne Colleges Apprenticeship Awards evening.
Even with the massive increase in apprenticeships 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.
Many of these vacancies were advertised at my recent Jobs Fair and I know a number of young people expressed an interest in some of the vacancies on offer.
I have also been busy in our local schools. I attended a Democracy Day at Park High School, discussed international development and Climate Change with pupils at Fisher More and took part in a careers event at Colne Primet Academy.
I also mentioned the work that Marsden Heights are doing on careers advice during a debate in Parliament, citing their “Job Junction” as a good way of informing young people about careers and apprenticeship opportunities.