East Sussex MP Norman Baker has this week launched the start of a new local jobs campaign which will encourage local schools and businesses, with the assistance of the MP, to promote the benefits of apprentices and take them on.
The local campaign is part of a national Lib Dem campaign launched by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, and is a drive to build on the one million private sector jobs that have already been created with the help of Lib Dems in government by creating one million more.
With a key focus on apprenticeships which provide a wage as well as training for the apprentice, the MP for Lewes is writing to over 200 East Sussex businesses to encourage those who do not have an apprentice programme to consider implementing one, and for those who have already taken on apprentices to ask for their feedback on how they have found it.
Mr Baker has also written to schools in his constituency to encourage them to promote the benefits of apprenticeships as a means for students to secure training after leaving school, not just for those who may wish to develop a trade, but for those who may want a career in marketing, retail or business administration for instance.
Evidence has shown that young people who complete apprenticeships earn on average around £100,000 more over the course of their careers.
Mr Baker said, “The number of apprenticeships in the Lewes constituency has risen by 116 per cent since the coalition government was formed which shows that businesses and young people are really embracing them. But I think we can do more because nationally only 14 per cent of businesses offer them.
“This campaign is about highlighting the benefits of apprenticeships not just for the young person being trained, but for businesses as well with 81% saying that they saw in increase in productively as a result of taking one on.
“Over the course of the next month I will be engaging with local businesses to seek their thoughts on apprenticeships and to encourage them to take one on.
“This week I have written to secondary schools in the area, and I would also encourage any young people who are interested in applying for an apprenticeship to take a look at my website at www.normanbaker.org.uk which has further information.”