MP for St Austell & Newquay, Stephen Gilbert, has taken on a local young person as an apprentice in support of Cornwall’s campaign to secure 300 apprenticeships in 100 days. The campaign is backed by MPs, Cornwall Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership.
After a highly competitive process, Ruby Morris was selected to become an apprentice in Stephen’s constituency office located in St Austell. The paid position will allow Ruby to develop skills in politics, casework, administration and knowledge of Parliamentary procedures.
This week also marks National Apprenticeship Week, which aims to boost recognition of apprenticeships and the benefits they can bring to young people and employers.
Since 2010, Liberal Democrats in Government have helped to create 1.6 million new apprenticeship starts – more than double the number under Labour. The Coalition has also introduced new rules requiring an apprenticeship to last a minimum of 12 months.
Apprenticeships are vitally important to the UK’s continued economic recovery, helping the UK compete in the future through a highly skilled workforce. The National Audit Office has estimated that for every £1 spent on apprenticeships the wider economy benefits by £18.
The Government will cover 100% of training costs for apprentices aged 16-18 and 50% of the costs of those aged 19-24, as well as encouraging new businesses to take on apprentices. The BIS apprenticeships budget is forecast to increase to £770m in 2014/15.
Companies employing less than 1,000 staff can receive grants of up to £1,500 to help support apprentices, in addition to training costs, if they have not taken on apprentices in the previous 12 months.
Commenting, Mid Cornwall MP Stephen Gilbert said:
“I’m thrilled to welcome Ruby to the team and I hope the apprenticeship in my office will help her to secure full-time employment, as well as provide her with opportunities to see how Parliament works from the inside.
“Lib Dems have been instrumental in doubling apprenticeships and providing funding for businesses to help take on young people. It is essential that provide decent opportunities for young people to succeed and help them get on in life.
“Businesses only stand to gain from hiring apprentices – I certainly know Ruby will be a great asset to my office. I urge local business to access the funding we’ve made available and provide a great opportunity for a young person in your area.”
Jason Sugden, coordinator for the Cornwall Apprenticeships campaign said:
“I’m very grateful for the support Stephen has shown for the 300 in 100 campaign and I wish Ruby every success in what I imagine will be an interesting and varied Apprenticeship.”