An increase in the number of apprentices taken on by businesses in the South East has been welcomed by MEP Catherine Bearder today.
In the last 12 months, 56,190 people have taken on apprenticeships in the area, an increase of 44 per cent on the previous year. It came as the Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable also unveiled plans to encourage more companies to take on apprentices.
Catherine said: "Apprenticeships make companies more productive and give young people experience and skills they need.
"Liberal Democrats are determined to tackle youth unemployment and get our economy back on track. Apprenticeships are a huge part of that.
"Apprenticeships are beneficial to all involved and the record rise in people taking them up is great news for the South East."
The Government has said today it will offer firms with up to 50 employers £1,500 to take on apprentices aged between 16 and 24.
Catherine added: "I left school at 15 and understand learning is not all about school and university, and that learning on the job can be equally as important."
Meanwhile, Mr Cable added: "Apprenticeships are proven to boost the life chances of young people and are a sound investment in our future competitiveness."