East Devon apprenticeships ‘lowest’ in South West

EAST Devon had the lowest percentage of new apprenticeships created in the last year than any of the 97 other parliamentary constituencies in the South West.

Figures by The Data Service show that, in East Devon in 2010/11, 1,350 young people began an apprenticeship - just 40 more, or three per cent, than in the previous year.

The next worst in the region is a 10 per cent increase in Truro and Redruth and a 9.3 per cent increase in South East Cornwall.

But East Devon is also only one of 15 constituencies in the region to create more than 1,000 apprenticeships in the past year.

In an effort to boost numbers the coalition government has published a three-point plan.

Under the scheme employers with 50 employees or fewer will be offered up to �1,500 for taking on an apprentice aged between 16 and 24.

The National Apprenticeships Service and training providers will be required to ensure that every employer is able to advertise a vacancy within one month of deciding to take on an apprentice.

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The roles will be targeted in areas where they are needed while employers will be required to offer all apprentices training in English and maths.

East Devon MP Hugo Swire said: “Until now, too many businesses have been put off taking on an apprentice because of unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape.

“It is therefore good news for businesses and young people alike that the government is streamlining the system.

“I also welcome the cash bonuses for small firms who take on young apprentices and urge companies in East Devon to take up this opportunity.

“I very much hope that more employers will give young people a life chance by taking on an apprentice. I want to see this number increase dramatically in the coming year.”

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