Yesterday John visited Southampton Engineering Training Association to meet with apprentices and see the good work they are doing for the city.
You can watch ITV Meridian’s coverage of John’s visit to SETA by clicking here.
Southampton Engineering Training Association has over 400 apprentices on course with them.
When John Denham was the Secretary of State for Universities and Skills, he oversaw the first ever National Apprenticeships Week. In addition, during this time he was responsible for a huge expansion in the number of apprenticeship places in the UK.
In Southampton, there are 1,960 full-time apprentices. This represents a 154% increase 2005/06 to 2010/11.
Apprenticeships are of enormous benefit, not only for each apprentice but also for the businesses training them. They can fill a skills gap and allow businesses the opportunity to tailor their workforce around their specific needs, as well as providing real returns to the bottom line through increased productivity and competitiveness.
John believes the government should use public procurement to boost apprenticeship numbers so that private companies bidding for government contracts worth over £1million would have to put high-quality apprenticeship schemes in place and commit to training young people for high-skilled jobs as part of their bids. This is the approach he adopted in government, including with the construction of the Olympic Park.
“I’m delighted to have had the opportunity of seeing the great work that Southampton Engineering Training Association do.
“Apprenticeships make a huge difference to young people’s lives, as well as to the local economy. While I was in government, I oversaw the first National Apprenticeships Week and I’m pleased we have this chance every year to celebrate the excellent work they do.”