James Brokenshire has heard from young job seekers about the positive benefits of work experience and apprenticeships during a visit to the Bexleyheath Job Centre Plus. The session formed part of local events to mark Apprenticeship Week with the Prime Minister setting out his vision for it to become “the new norm” for young people to either go to university or start an apprenticeship.
Across the Old Bexley & Sidcup constituency 690 people started apprenticeships in the academic year 2011-12 – an increase of 320 in two years (1). Another 220 have started apprenticeships in the first quarter of this academic year.
Nationally, 520,600 people started an apprenticeship in 2011-12. This is a record number and the first time ever that more than half a million people have started an apprenticeship in one year. This comes as the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) have released a forecast that apprenticeships completed over the next decade could contribute productivity gains worth up to £3.4 billion a year to the economy by 2022.
Commenting James Brokenshire said:
“I was really pleased to have the opportunity to hear directly just what a difference work experience schemes and apprenticeships can make in helping secure employment. That’s why I back the steps the Government is taking to support apprenticeships to help ensure that we have the skilled people we need to compete in an increasingly competitive world.
“Listening to examples of how young people in Bexley have converted their apprenticeships into long term employment - often with the same employer - you can appreciate how they are benefiting individuals as well as local business.”
(1) Source: Data Service, Statistical First Release, 19 February 2013, link