NEW figures reveal that in Eastbourne and Willingdon 880 people benefited from an apprenticeship last year – an increase of 71 per cent.
This news comes as the Coalition Government has launched National Apprenticeships Week, which will seek to build on last year’s success with events in schools and businesses.
Eastbourne MP Stephen Lloyd – who is co-chair of the APPG for Further Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning – is marking the week in a number of ways both in Eastbourne and up in Parliament.
Mr Lloyd said, “This dramatic growth in apprentices is great news for young people in our town.
“Apprenticeships equip people with the skills needed to get jobs and build decent careers.
“Apprentices are an essential part of my ongoing campaign to ensure we meet the economic challenges head on.
“It’s all about jobs, and that is an absolute priority for me.
“The partnership effort we have in our town is nothing short of outstanding and we - the MPs Commission, the Chamber of Commerce, the Council, local businesses, Job Centre Plus and Sussex Downs College - are focussed on ensuring Eastbourne continues to buck the trend.”
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable said, “National Apprenticeships Week is the time to celebrate the countless achievements of learners and employers, and to call on more firms to hire an apprentice and enjoy the competitive advantage they can bring to a business.
“I am very proud of the fact that at a time of financial constraint this Coalition Government has prioritised investment in apprenticeships.
“This has led to the creation of record numbers of apprenticeships combined with tough new standards to drive up quality.
“We are providing extra help to enable small employers to hire their first apprentices.”