Labour party reveals plans to create over 9,000 apprenticeships in Aylesbury's region

The plans involve creating over 100,000 new opportunities across the country.
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The Labour party has revealed plans to create 9,023 new apprenticeships within Aylesbury' s region.

The party says it has found funds that could be used to provide workplace opportunities to 9,023 young people in the South East of England.

The plan involves using a wage subsidy scheme to offer more financial support to employers, enabling businesses to take on more young apprentices aged between 16 and 24.

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Government data shows apprenticeship starts have declined by 28 per cent across the region with over 19,000 opportunities disappearing in the past decade.

Labour says, with apprentice numbers falling, large portions of the apprenticeships levy – paid by big employers to government – are going unspent.

In 2020/21, £1.3 billion of levy funds are set to be returned to the Treasury. Labour’s plan would use £377 million of this to help employers cover 100,000 new apprentices’ wages, including 9,023 in the South East for their first year in the job.

Kate Green MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Education, said: “The government has overseen a decade of decline in apprentice numbers and has no plan to reverse this trend.

“Apprenticeships should be a gold standard training opportunity, but they have been neglected by successive Conservative governments which have entrenched inequalities and denied young people the opportunities they need.

“Labour is committed to helping every young person make a strong start to their working lives with quality training and employment opportunities helping them to develop the skills our economy needs.”

The plan has been welcomed by JTL, a training provider which trains apprentices across England. Martin Hick , JTL head of learning assessment (London & South East), added: “With the government’s employer incentives for apprenticeships and the furlough scheme ending in September, now is not the time to switch off support for the thousands of school and college leavers who may be looking for apprenticeship opportunities which give them a chance to learn on the job in paid employment.

“In the South East, new opportunities for young people are only showing modest signs of recovery after lockdown and employers tell us that wage subsidies for apprenticeships could definitely give them more confidence to train young talent to fill local skills gaps.”