MP welcomes new figures

A NORTHUMBERLAND MP has praised the Government after new figures revealed a big increase in the number of apprentices in his area.

Official statistics showed that 780 people benefited from an apprenticeship in the Berwick upon Tweed constituency during the 2010/11 academic year, an increase of 53 percent.

To support the programme, a National Apprenticeships Week was recently held. It included a range of events in schools and businesses.

Berwick upon Tweed MP Sir Alan Beith said: “This dramatic growth in apprentices is welcome news for young people in the my constituency and across Northumberland. Apprenticeships equip our young people with the skills needed to get jobs and build prosperous careers and our apprentices are putting businesses on stronger ground to be successful and create jobs and growth in our area.

“As a Liberal Democrat, I believe that the Coalition Government is doing the right thing by giving employers even further encouragement to train young people and create opportunities for apprentices.”

Meanwhile, a total of 11 housing associations in the region have signed up to the National Housing Federation’s North East Apprenticeship Commitment and pledged that by the end of the year between one and five per cent of their workforces will be apprentices. This means that more than 100 extra people will have a place on their programmes.

Isos, which runs social housing in the former Castle Morpeth area, is one of the organisations taking part in this scheme. The others are: Bernicia Group, Coast & Country, Derwentside Homes, Gateshead Housing, Gentoo Living, Home Group, Livin, North Star Housing Group, Southdale and Vela Group.