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National Apprenticeships Week

Simon Lightwood MP has set out Labour’s plan to boost skills and drive economic growth in Wakefield, as data reveals the Tories’ decade of decline in apprenticeships and training is holding Britain back.

 

Over the last decade apprenticeship starts have declined by 1410 in Wakefield as the Tories have failed to equip individuals and the economy with the skills to meet national challenges including transition to net zero and rising demand for digital skills. 

 

To reverse this downwards trend Labour will train over a thousand new careers advisors to provide professional advice and guidance at schools and colleges, alongside high-quality work experience for young people.

 

Labour will give businesses the flexibility they’re asking for to train their workforce and deliver growth. We will start by turning the Tories’ failed apprenticeships levy into a

‘Growth and Skills Levy’.

 

The Conservatives’ levy has seen millions of pounds that should be used for skills training going unspent, even as businesses report growing skills shortages. Giving businesses flexibility would ensure this money could be best on a greater range of training courses including basic English, maths and digital skills, so businesses can fill skills gaps and people can gain new skills to progress at work.

 

As part of a wider package of reform, Labour will establish Skills England, a new national body tasked with driving forward a national ambition to meet the skills needs of the next decade. This will be driven by pushing power and decisions on skills spending out from Westminster to local communities, so those communities can better match up skills training with their local business needs and grow local and regional economies.

 

Simon Lightwood MP, for Wakefield, said:

 

“Apprentices in Wakefield should be celebrated for their impact on our community and local economy. We have some fantastic local businesses providing opportunities, at Wakefield Council, Wakefield District Housing, Heat Exchange Group and Group Rhodes - but the government needs to step up and match our local ambition.

 

“For twelve years the Tories have been letting down our area with over a decade of decline in opportunities.

 

“Young people and adults are ambitious for their families’ futures and want to learn new skills to get new jobs, or progress at work. But they are being let down by this government.

 

“Labour will reverse this trend, giving businesses the flexibility they need to train people up with new skills from digital technologies to the green skills needed to tackle climate change.”

 

Bridget Phillipson MP, Shadow Education Secretary, said:

 

“Despite their rhetoric, the Tories have overseen a decade of decline in skills and training opportunities which is holding Britain back.

 

“From digital to green skills, childcare to social care, Labour will harness the talents and

abilities of the British people so we can strengthen our economy and break down barriers to opportunity.

 

“More training opportunities so people can gain new skills, access better jobs and grow our economy. That’s the difference a Labour government will make.”



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