This week is National Apprenticeship Week. On Friday I am holding my annual jobs and apprentices fair in Dover Town Hall. Apprentices matter and make a huge difference to people's lives. Good quality training and apprenticeships help our young people to do better in the world of work. They are able to build essential skills and gain the vital experience that leads to promotion and a bigger pay packet.
Over 2.6 million apprenticeships have been started across Britain since May 2010. In Dover and Deal alone, 4,300 of our young people have started new apprenticeships. These apprenticeships are providing people with experience and training them in the skills they need to enter an increasingly specialised workforce.
A good job brings the security and stability of a regular pay packet. It also allows people to plan ahead, save for the future and to buy their own home.
It is not just jobseekers who benefit from apprenticeships. Local businesses have the chance to train young people in the valuable skills they need to fill highly skilled jobs. This creates more opportunities for work and boosts our local economy. Apprentices also help to raise the productivity of the businesses they join.
The Government is committed to creating 3 million more apprenticeships by 2020. It is important that employers and job seekers alike are able to benefit from skills based apprenticeships and specialist training schemes. It will soon become even easier for businesses to hire apprentices, as employers' National Insurance contributions for apprentices under the age of 25 will be abolished from this April.
We need to focus on driving up the quality of apprenticeships. To make sure that funding for apprenticeships only goes towards schemes that are valued by employers.
I am looking forward to holding my Jobs & Apprenticeships Fair in Dover Town Hall this Friday 10am-3pm. Over 20 different employers will be gathered together to help local jobseekers find apprenticeships and jobs. It's also great for people looking for a change of job or a job in a new area. I am incredibly grateful to all employers for coming - particularly DFDS and Discovery Park for their sponsorship of the event.
This year my jobs fair is focusing on training and apprenticeships. The companies involved will be showing people who come along how enrolling in specialised training and quality apprenticeships can greatly improve their prospects of finding work. Do come along if you are looking for work, or if you might be interested in entering into training or starting an apprenticeship.
Good quality apprenticeships increase our young people's prospects of finding a good job and enjoying a more secure future. This is a key part of our long term economic plan. The rising number of people starting apprenticeships in our area is good news. These apprenticeships bring us a step closer to our goal of full employment in Dover and Deal. So do come to the Dover Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair and see if their is an opportunity for you.
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