‘They’re invaluable to our future’: Apprenticeship-boosting bill proposed by Denton and Reddish MP

By James Pomfret

Manchester’s youth could soon benefit from a Private Members’ Bill aimed at boosting the number of apprenticeships in the UK.

The bill aims to increase the number of apprenticeships by adding a requirement for all contracts awarded by local and central government to include a pledge to apprenticeships.

Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, proposed the bill after been selected on the floor of the House of Commons during the annual Private Members’ Bill ballot.

Mr Gwynne said: “Good quality, properly-funded apprenticeships are absolutely invaluable to the future of our economy.

“They create a win-win situation for workers of all ages, for employers and for UK plc, but we must ensure that they develop the skills and training we need for the economy of the future.”

Gwynne was keen to point out that the proposed bill would not only benefit those undertaking the potential apprenticeships, but also the wider public, reducing costs through increased training.

“I am delighted that my Private Members’ Bill, which ensures companies in receipt of substantial sums of public money are required to take on apprentices, is acknowledged across the board as a key step in developing opportunities and vocational education for a new generation.

“Maximising the impact of public investment is equally important. “

Recent Treasury figures show Government spending of £236billion on procurement in 2011-2012.

The proposed bill would encourage the businesses most able to take on apprentices to do so, with a focus on those awarded the largest contracts.

Gwynne added: “It is a relatively small change that would make such a big difference given youth unemployment remains one of the biggest issues facing our country in these economically tough times.”

The proposed bill will have its second reading on November 1.

Picture courtesy of Chris Hunkelar, with thanks.

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