Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, is calling on the Government to adopt Labour’s proposals to create 11,842 apprenticeships in the South West this National Apprenticeships Week. This follows a decrease in the number of apprenticeship starts in Bristol South over the last decade, from 1250 in 2011/12 to just 750 in 2020/21.
National Apprenticeships Week recognises the enormous contribution made by apprentices and their employers in Bristol South and the huge benefits apprenticeships can bring to individuals, businesses and the wider economy as people are given the opportunity to earn whilst learning the future skills our country needs to prosper.
Since the Conservatives came into Government in 2010, however, the number of apprenticeship starts in Bristol South has been decreasing and valuable training opportunities have been disappearing, especially for young people.
To reverse this downward trend and secure the skills our country needs for the future, Karin Smyth has called upon the Government to introduce a wage subsidy which could have created 11,842 new apprenticeships in the South West this year. This subsidy would be funded from underspent funding in the apprenticeships levy – a charge large employers have to pay to the Government.
This plan is backed by the Association of Employers and Learning Provides (AELP), and could have created 100,000 new apprenticeships for 16-24 year olds across England this year.
Karin Smyth’s annual Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair will be returning later in the year with a wide range of local businesses and organisations in attendance. The date is still to be confirmed so keep an eye on social media for updates.
Karin Smyth, MP for Bristol South, said:
“I have long advocated for apprenticeships as they present a valuable and important route into employment for so many young people, or a career change for working people of any age. They ensure workers and organisations have the skills needed for the future and benefit the whole economy, from individuals to businesses. National Apprenticeships Week recognises the enormous contributions apprentices make.
“The Government is failing to create the opportunities young people and our local economy in Bristol South need to prosper, however, and it is concerning to see the number of apprenticeship starts falling.
“There are some really fantastic apprenticeship opportunities for young people in Bristol South, but we must work to increase these opportunities and get more employers involved in apprenticeship programmes. I am calling on the Government to adopt Labour’s wage subsidy policy to boost opportunities for young people to secure our economy post pandemic.”