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Farron welcomes further apprenticeship funding

September 27, 2013 10:49 AM

Tim at GilkesSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that even more grants are going to be made available to local businesses in South Lakeland to allow them to take on an apprentice.

Grants worth up to £2,500 are being provided by the county council's Lib Dem-run South Lakeland Local Committee to help local businesses recruit young apprentices aged 16 to 19. This scheme has been running and funded by local Lib Dem councillors for the last two years.

The funding has so far helped create 23 apprenticeships for young people over the past two years in roles ranging from web programming and engineering to joinery and horticulture.

Research by the House of Commons Library revealed there were 520,600 apprenticeship starts across the UK in 2011/12. This is 63,400 more than the number of starts in the 2010/11 academic year, and 240,900 more than in the 2009/10 academic year.

Figures released by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills show that 260 new apprenticeships were created in Westmorland & Lonsdale in 2011/12. In total an extra 2,109 apprenticeships have been created in Cumbria since 2009. In Westmorland & Lonsdale the number of apprentices has risen by 96% since 2009, with 760 apprentices in work in 2011/12. In 2005 only 270 apprenticeship places were available in Westmorland and Lonsdale.

For more information about the apprenticeship grants, local businesses can contact Caroline Powney at the county council on 01228 221158 or email: caroline.powney@cumbria.gov.uk

Tim commented: "Even though we have the lowest unemployment in England we still must do more to support young people and help create well paid jobs in our community. I welcome this fund and councillors' continued support of it and I hope that small businesses all across our area will bid for funds to take on an apprentice. This scheme will allow young people to earn and learn at the same time."