PRIME Minister David Cameron has highlighted the success of Eastbourne’s push to recruit more apprentices.
Speaking in the House of Commons last week during Prime Minister’s Question Time, the issue of apprenticeships in Eastbourne was raised by the town’s MP, Stephen Lloyd.
He asked the Prime Minister, “In Eastbourne, we recently recruited 181 apprentices in 100 days.
“My local training provider, Sussex Downs College, tells me that 91 per cent of its hospitality apprentices go into full-time jobs.
“Does the Prime Minister agree that apprenticeships work and in Eastbourne they work particularly well?”
The Prime Minister told a packed House of Commons, “I am happy to agree with my honourable friend about that.
“We found funding for an extra 50,000 apprenticeships last year and achieved almost double that because of the enthusiasm that there is among the business community and among young people.
“It is an important development in our country.
“We want to make sure that apprenticeship schemes are aimed at young people who need work and also aimed at the higher level - people going on to get degree-equivalent qualifications, so it is not seen as a second best.
“For many people it is the right career path, and there are companies in Britain such as Rolls-Royce where many of the people on the board started with an apprenticeship.”
The Prime Minister’s comments came barely a week after a visit to Eastbourne by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.
The Lib Dem leader hailed the ‘fantastic’ work being done in the town with creating apprenticeships..
During his fact-finding visit, Mr Clegg spoke to apprentices employed at the Langham Hotel – including head receptionist Faye Chillingworth, who originally completed a level 2 apprenticeship in front office and reception.
Faye has now successfully gone on to complete an advanced apprenticeship in hospitality supervision and leadership at Sussex Downs College.
She said she was thrilled that Mr Clegg presented her with her latest certificate.
A spokesman for Sussex Downs College said that they were at the forefront of promoting and developing apprenticeships in East Sussex.
He said the college was delighted with the town’s prominence in boosting this valuable area of work, pointing to 0a recent BBC survey which showed that more people are considering apprenticeships as an alternative to university.