Even more great news for Lancashire’s apprentices

Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

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Prime Minister David Cameron visited Lancashire for National Apprenticeship Week.

Here in an exclusive personal message to Evening Post readers, he revealed plans for new Degree Apprenticeships in Aerospace.

I’m here in Lancashire celebrating the amazing success of apprenticeships in the North West. Since the election in 2010, over twice as many apprenticeships have started here than in London.

This hasn’t just happened by accident. Here in Lancashire we are seeing a massive push for apprenticeships. The local enterprise partnership has set up an Apprenticeship Hub to encourage businesses to take on more trainees and of course there are all those businesses doing the vital work of taking on apprentices.

I think of BAE Systems near Preston, who are employing record numbers of apprentices – or other Lancashire companies like WEC Engineering, Euro Garages and Forbes Solicitors, who take real pride in taking on young people.

In total, more men and women have started apprenticeships in the North West than in any other part of the UK: over 359,000 of them since 2010. That is excellent news for two reasons.

First -– record apprenticeships means record numbers of young people who are getting a great start in life. Instead of heading down to the Job Centre, they’re developing life-saving drugs, building fighter jets, and engineering huge construction projects. That’s what our long-term economic plan is all about: giving everyone the opportunity to make the most of their lives.

Second – apprenticeships are helping to drive Britain’s economic recovery. In just five years we’ve come out of a great recession – and last year we were the fastest growing major economy in the developed world. We have seen record numbers of businesses created, and 1.85 million more people in work. Our long-term economic plan is working – and apprenticeships have been an important part of that plan. Put simply, apprenticeships are central to everything this Government is trying to achieve. Today the Government is announcing nine new Degree Apprenticeships. Groups of businesses, universities and colleges will come together to develop really practical, vocational degree courses in the kind of skills our economy needs. The apprentices will split their degree between normal university study and the workplace – getting real on-the-job experience that will set them up for life. These new qualifications are in everything from Chartered Surveying to Electronic Systems Engineering to Laboratory Science.

In what is fantastic news for Lancashire – new Degree Apprenticeships in Aerospace will bring together BAE Systems, Lancaster University, the University of Central Lancashire and Blackpool and The Fylde College. They’ll be working to develop this new qualification, making sure it gives our aerospace industry the skills it needs.

What’s more, if Conservatives are still in Government after the May election, we have committed to a record number of new apprenticeships – 3 million in total.

This is about giving 3 million more young people, in Preston and beyond, a great start in life.