St Austell & Newquay’s Liberal Democrat MP, Stephen Gilbert, has secured the support of the Prime Minister for schemes like the Cornwall Apprenticeships Campaign, which is aiming to increase the number of local apprenticeship starts by 1000 by March 2014.

Apprenticeship starts in Cornwall have doubled over the last three years as a result of measures introduced by the Coalition Government. Over 13,070 young Cornish people have begun an apprenticeship since 2010.

The Prime Minister pledged his support in response to a PMQ from the Cornish MP in the House of Commons today.

In his question, Stephen Gilbert welcomed Coalition Government action to increase the number of apprentices; and asked the Prime Minister to meet with him and local apprentices to discuss how the Government could further support apprenticeship schemes.

David Cameron responded, saying that he is “delighted” by the success of apprenticeship schemes and the increase under this Government; and said that he would be “happy to meet” with Stephen Gilbert and local apprentices when he next visits Cornwall.

Commenting, Stephen Gilbert said:

“Liberal Democrats in government are building a stronger economy in a fairer society by boosting job opportunities and helping young people get on in life through education, apprenticeship and training schemes.

“Since 2010, we have doubled the number of apprenticeship starts in Cornwall and the Cornwall Apprenticeships Campaign is now working across the county to boost that further and create 1000 new places by March next year.

“I am delighted to have received the Prime Minister’s support for the campaign today and I look forward to welcoming him to Cornwall to meet with local apprentices.”

Jason Sugden from the Cornwall Apprenticeships Campaign added:

“I’m thrilled that our campaign is receiving such high profile attention. The Cornwall Apprenticeships campaign aims to provide employers, young people and their parents and carers with information and guidance about apprenticeships in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

“Campaign activities to date have included employer road shows, skills fairs and ‘have a go’ events. There is also a Cornwall Apprenticeships website to signpost users to information about the Apprenticeship frameworks available in the county as well as current Apprenticeship job vacancies.”