No ‘snobbery’ against apprenticeships – MP


Iain Stewart, MP for Milton Keynes South

One of the city’s MPs has called for apprenticeships to be given greater status as a career option for young people.

Speaking in a debate in Parliament about apprenticeships, MP for Milton Keynes South Iain Stewart argued that there should not be any form of ‘snobbery’ against apprenticeships and that they should be regarded as an equally valid option for training and education after school.

He pointed out that sometimes many careers advice services focus too much on the academic route and not enough on the vocational route with apprenticeships or other training options.

The Milton Keynes South MP used the debate to celebrate the higher than average take up of apprenticeships in Milton Keynes. The city has seen an increase of more than 70 percent in the number of apprentices taken on this year.

Also praising University Centre Milton Keynes for pioneering innovative ways of delivering new products to meet skills needs in the city, Mr Stewart invited John Hayes, Minister for Further Education, to visit the centre in order to see how it delivers its training.

Commenting afterwards, Mr Stewart said: “I believe that for the long-term health and rebalancing of UK economy we need to value apprenticeships and the learning that goes with them.

“I am pleased that the Government will offer employers an incentive payment of up to £1,500 to encourage them to take on an apprentice. I also welcome measures to simplify the bureaucracy and make it quicker and easier for employers to take on an apprentice.”

From September 2012, the Education Act 2011 will place a new duty on schools to secure access to independent, impartial careers guidance for pupils in school years nine to 11.

Subject to consultation, this will be extended down to year eight and to young people aged 16 to 18 in schools and further education settings.

Paul Champion

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