I’m pleased to back National Apprenticeship Week, recognising the enormous contribution made by apprentices and their employers in East Hull and the wider city.

Apprenticeships provide people with the chance to learn a trade and earn a wage whilst they progress. Investing in training opportunities will be central to rebuilding our economy after the pandemic.

However, the Government is failing to reverse a downward trend in apprentice numbers, with figures showing the number of apprenticeships in Hull has fallen by 2,140 since 2016/17.

In July, the Government announced a cash incentive of either £2,000 or £1,500 for employers to take on a new apprentice. The ‘Plan for Jobs’ budgeted for 100,000 incentive payments, but new data shows just 18,670 apprentices had been taken on under the scheme by 8 January 2021 which runs to March 2021.

The Government is failing to create the opportunities young people in Hull need. I am calling on the Government to adopt Labour’s wage subsidy policy lead by the Shadow Minister for Apprenticeships and Lifelong learning, Toby Perkins MP, to boost opportunities for young people as we rebuild our country, which would create 85,000 new apprenticeships for 16-24-year olds this year.

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