Burnley MP hails apprenticeshipsBurnley and Padiham MP Gordon Birtwistle has praised the government’s plans to expand the provision of apprenticeship schemes, claiming the move will help to boost the job prospects of thousands of youngsters.

Speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph, the Liberal Democrat politician said he had been “delighted” by skills minister John Hayes’ recent announcement on the matter and implied training schemes will become increasingly important over the next few years.

“We need skilled workers to help boost the economy and apprenticeships will help train people for these vital jobs,” he explained. “I really cannot stress enough the importance of apprenticeships being regarded on the same level as degrees.”

Mr Birtwistle’s comments echo those of Conservative minister Mr Hayes, who insisted that manual qualifications should be viewed by British employers as being equally important as academic degrees.

However, Scottish public sector organisation Skills Development Scotland – responsible for overseeing similar training schemes – announced earlier this month it was looking to make more than 100 of its staff redundant.

Posted by Cameron Thomson