A RECENT surge in the number of apprenticeships in South Shields has been hailed by the town’s Conservative Parliamentary candidate.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals that 650 new apprenticeships were started by people in the town between August and January.
We are giving young people proper training and the prospect of a better future.
And in total 5,570 new apprenticeships have been started in the town since 2010.
Statistics for the neighbouring Jarrow constituency are also encouraging, with 670 being taken on over the same six-month period and 5,570 over the last five years.
South Shields Tory candidate Robert Oliver believes that means young people are getting the skills they need to “get on in life and make the most of their talents”.
And he cited the borough’s Barbour clothing company as an example of a company which was benefiting from apprenticeships.
But Mr Oliver says a future Conservative government would go even further, with a commitment to deliver three million apprenticeships by 2020,
He said: “These figures are good news with 5,570 new apprenticeships since 2010 meaning more young people in South Shields are getting the skills to succeed and get on in life.
“We are putting apprenticeships at the heart of our long-term economic plan, funding more of them and making sure they are high quality, teaching the skills that businesses need.
“A future Conservative government would build on the great progress we have already made, committing to deliver three million more apprenticeships by 2020, and effectively bringing to an end youth unemployment.
“We are giving young people proper training and the prospect of a better future. Millions of young people are getting a good start in life, learning a trade, and knowing the purpose and pride that comes with that.”
Only last month, 20 apprenticeships were launched in an event at South Shields Town Hall, attended by the Labour mayor of South Tyneside, Coun Fay Cunningham.
Funded by the Arts Council, South Tyneside Council and other trusts, they saw young people being placed in work at cultural sites such as Bede’s World, Tyne and Wear Museums, the Customs House and the National Trust.
Last year, 20 apprentices and five interns took part in a similar scheme, with around 70 per cent of them moving into permanent work.
Coun Fay Cunningham said: “The cultural apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic example of how by working with partners.”
n The other candidates standing in the South Shields Parliamentary election on Thursday, May 7, are Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour); Shirley Ford (Green); Norman Dennis (Ukip), Gita Gordon (Lib Dem).