RISING numbers of Northumberland apprentices have been welcomed by a county MP.
New figures show that 2,200 people from the area have started an apprenticeship between August 2011 and January 2012.
This comes on top of record figures for Northumberland last year – 3,860 were on an apprenticeship in 2010/2011, which was an increase of 73 per cent on the previous year.
Berwick-upon-Tweed MP Sir Alan Beith said: “Thanks to the Regional Growth Fund, the Government has already invested £157million in the North East, creating 13,702 positions in new and existing businesses as well as in the supply chain, with more to come.
“For us to be successful, people need the skills and experience to take advantage of new jobs being created in our area and that is why apprenticeships are a huge part of the Liberal Democrat drive for a fairer and more balanced economy.
“Apprenticeships make companies more productive and give young people the experience and skills they need.
“The record rise in learners taking them up last year is great news for Northumberland and the economy as a whole. It is hugely positive that already over 2,000 apprenticeships have started since August.”