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Tim calls for Cumbrian rural entrepreneurs to come forward for govt scheme

February 6, 2013 2:58 PM

TF ruralSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on aspiring rural entrepreneurs from Cumbria to put themselves forward for a specialist training scheme announced today.

Defra announced the £20 million funding boost as part of the Government's latest drive to grow the rural economy. It is hoped at least 90,000 people will benefit from new knowledge and business skills, helping them to take up new opportunities in the home and export markets.

Defra will meet 70 per cent of training costs through its Rural Development Programme for England with the remaining 30 per cent met by individuals or their employers. Subsidised courses in subjects including business and management, market opportunities and information technology will be open to businesses and individuals.

They will range from one-day workshops to industry-recognised qualifications and will be run on college campuses, in village halls, on farms and in business centres. The organisations providing the training will be able to tailor the courses to meet demand.

Tim has long called for government support and investment in training for young people in rural areas. He has championed apprenticeships and we have seen a massive 96% increase in uptake locally. Figures released by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills show that 260 new apprenticeships were created in 2011/12.

In total an extra 2,109 apprenticeships have been created in Cumbria since 2009. In Westmorland and Lonsdale the number of apprentices has risen by 96 per cent since 2009, with 760 apprentices in work in 2011/12. In 2005 only 270 apprenticeship places were available in Westmorland and Lonsdale.

Tim said: "For months I have called on government ministers to do more to help rural areas and especially young people in rural areas find jobs. Our apprenticeship campaign has been a massive success but we need to take it to the next level now. I hope that people will put themselves forward for this training scheme so we can start to build the next generation of businesses and entrepreneurs."