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Farron: 'Let's make National Apprenticeship Week a success'

March 3, 2014 1:17 PM

Tim at GilkesAt the start of National Apprenticeship Week, South Lakes MP Tim Farron has pointed to figures that show that half of businesses are looking to take on an apprentice as "good news". Tim also urged local employers to keep investing in young people by hiring them as apprentices.

In South Lakeland the number of apprenticeships have doubled in recent years thanks to local businesses and Tim's campaign.

Almost half (44%) of businesses in the country plan to take on apprentices in the next 5 years, according to new research released today to mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week. This compares to just over 3 in 10 (36%) employers when asked the same question this time last year (2013).

The study of 600 businesses also reveals that a fifth (20%) of SMEs plan to take on 1 or more apprentices in the next 12 months alone, with more than a third (37%) of larger businesses planning to do the same, compared to 15% and 28% respectively in February 2013.

The Lib-Dem run South Lakeland local committee of the county council have made this issue a major priority and set up a fund for apprenticeships in the South Lakes. The money is targeted at small and medium sized businesses, for young people not currently in employment or training. Small and medium sized businesses are given up to £2,500 to support them in training an apprentice.

Tim said: "I want to thank local businesses who have taken on an apprentice. It really makes a massive difference. More young people across the South Lakes than ever before now have the opportunity to benefit from a variety of apprenticeships. I want us to build on this success and do even more to help our local young people."