Southampton MP, Alan Whitehead, has today called on the Tory-led Government to do more to increase apprenticeship opportunities for young people after visiting Selex ES in Southampton.
The latest unemployment statistics show that across the country more than 900,000 young people aged between 16 and 24 are now out of work.
The visit coincided with National Apprenticeship Week, set up by the Labour Government in 2008 as part of its commitment to apprenticeships which saw the number of apprenticeship starts rise dramatically from 65,000 in 1996/97 to just under 280,000 in 2009/10.
Speaking after the visit, Alan Whitehead said:
“It was great to meet apprentices today at Selex ES in Millbrook. Apprenticeships are a fantastic option for young people in our area, and a clear legacy of Labour’s commitment to the programme during our time in office. Selex has a first rate apprenticeship program within the company and relationships with various training bodies. This is exactly the sort of partnership arrangement needed nationally.
“But with over 900,000 young people out of work nationally, and over 800 here in Southampton, the Government needs to do more to help firms like Selex ES create the apprenticeship opportunities young people desperately need.
“A Labour Government will put this right. Building on the work of our independent Skills Taskforce we will create a new universal standard for apprenticeships so that they are qualifications that employers and young people can trust. And we’ve also called on the Government to use the money which it already spends on public procurement to create thousands of new apprenticeship opportunities.”