Jamie Reed, Member of Parliament for Copeland, has today called on the Government to boost the number of apprenticeships in Copeland, by requiring firms winning public contracts worth over £1million to offer apprenticeship opportunities.
Speaking in the Parliament, he said:
“Under the last Labour Government, the number of apprenticeships in Copeland more than doubled. Apprenticeships are playing an increasingly important role in our economy providing skills and expertise to important industries. The value to individuals is also significant – They offer good employment prospects, provide skill sets of real value and often act as the very best gateway to a life-long commitment to education, training and development.
“In terms of effective Corporate Social Responsibility, there are few better ways of leaving a lasting legacy, contributing towards the betterment of society and securing a loyal, committed and productive workforce than by investing in continuous personal development. Apprenticeships are potentially the best way in which any company in any sector can do this.
“It is because of this that I am incredibly disheartened by the lack of progress shown by the Coalition. In the last academic year, the number of apprenticeships for school leavers dropped by one and a half percent. The North West has had a reduction of over 2200 apprenticeship places. Youth Unemployment remains at a worryingly high level and yet the Government are presiding over a drop in apprenticeships for 16-18 year olds.
“Nuclear Management Partners holds one off the most important and lucrative public sector contracts in the UK and is currently in the throes of a contract renegotiation with the NDA.
“On the day the Government admit that they do not have the money they need to build the schools they have promised, it requires only a fairly simple exercise in joining the dots for NMP to understand one the principal areas where its new contribution must be made.”