For National Apprenticeship Week, Ms Maskell visited York College to discuss their work and hear more about the key role they are playing in supporting young people into work in York and across the region, giving people the chance to earn as they learn and delivering the skills they need to prosper.
Speaking about his own experience at York College, Stonemasonry apprentice, Matthew Tinsley said:
“I wanted to be a stonemason because I enjoy the historic and technical aspects of the craft.
“The apprenticeship through York college is great because it has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and knowledge to eventually progress into a related career.
“When I’ve completed my apprenticeship, I intend to either work at a cathedral or find a further related apprenticeship to gain a level 3 qualification.”
Lee Probert, York College Chief Executive and Principal, said:
“Apprenticeships are not only a great way for businesses to develop a skilled workforce, but they also provide an excellent path to qualifications and workplace experience for people of all ages.
“It’s fantastic to welcome Rachael during National Apprenticeship Week to see how York College is supporting so many young people within the region’s economy.”
Rachael Maskell MP, said:
“I am really grateful to York College in introducing me to some of their apprentices, from young engineers to stonemasons and those working in the construction trades. Without doubt, York College is investing in vital future technologies so that apprentices have cutting edge skills to bring to the future economy and the opportunity of good careers. In speaking to the apprentices, they set out how their courses have built confidence and enabled them to gain real skills and independence. All were passionate about their chosen career path, and some had decided to take their skills to higher levels.
“York College provides state of the art facilities, and their courses are in much demand. We need employers to take this opportunity to invest in our local economy in the city through supporting apprentices through their training and giving them real opportunities to have a sure foundation to their future careers. I would urge all city employers to get in touch with York College and see what they could offer by way of a placement. As a city we are so fortunate to have such a forward-looking college and dedicated teaching staff to give these apprentices the very best start in life.”
Current data shows the government has overseen a decline in apprenticeship starts over the last ten years, with over 400 fewer in York Central since 2011, while Yorkshire and the Humber has seen a drop of 27,680 new starters in the same period.
To reverse this downward trend and secure the skills our country needs for the future, Labour has called on the government to introduce a wage subsidy which could have created 12,970 new apprenticeships in Yorkshire and the Humber this year. This subsidy would be funded from underspent funding in the apprenticeships levy – a charge large employers have to pay to government. Backed by the Association of Employers and Learning Providers (AELP), Labour’s plan could have created 100,000 new apprenticeships for 16–24-year-olds across England this year.
National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from 7 – 13 February, has been established as an annual event which celebrates apprentices across the country.