MP champions role of apprenticeships in driving Warwickshire's economy - The Leamington Observer

MP champions role of apprenticeships in driving Warwickshire's economy

INDUSTRY and manufacturing have a long and illustrious history in Warwickshire, with two centres of car manufacturing excellence in the Aston Martin and Jaguar Land Rover sites in Gaydon. These companies are crucial to developing a high-wage, high-skill economy here in Warwickshire.

I recently visited both sites and while it would be easy, and truthful, to continue to write about how I was awed by the technical excellence displayed, I want to talk about something else that I was deeply impressed with on my visit. Apprenticeships. For a long period of time, young people were channelled down one narrow passage aimed directly at university education. While for many this was the correct route, it left too many others disillusioned with the belief that they were not good enough. A one size fits all approach to our education system is not only damaging to our young people but also our economy. To ensure that Britain is equipped for the economic landscape of the future, we must ensure those who are technically minded thrive.

It was a privilege to hear the stories of apprentices at Jaguar Land Rover and their route to arriving at an apprenticeship. The diverse range of backgrounds and traditional educational qualifications was deeply impressive and further highlighted to me the key role that apprenticeships have to play in our educational system. One apprentice in particular encapsulated the success of the Government’s drive for greater access to this pathway. They informed me how the signposting at their school to apprenticeship schemes was opaque at best whilst they were enrolled. However, in the brief time since taking up their apprenticeship, they had been asked to come and give a talk at the school in the hope of inspiring more young people to take a similar path.

The recent Spring Budget further highlighted the Government’s commitment to ensure the future success of apprenticeship schemes. Included in this announcement was £60 million in new investment to enable up to 20,000 new apprenticeships. From 1st April, the Government will fully fund the training of anyone up to the age of 21 enrolled in an apprenticeship at a small business. This will reduce costs and administrative burden for these businesses and further increase opportunities for young people. Since 2010 the Government has helped over 5.7million people start an apprenticeship with overall funding reaching £2.7 billion by the 2024/25 financial year.

If you, or someone you know, would like to know more about starting an apprenticeship, please visit

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