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"Invest in apprenticeships to reverse decade of decline of opportunities" - says Judith

Judith has congratulated Realise Training on a successful year at their Bradford Skills Hub

Judith has called for better opportunities for skills and training as figures reveal that the number of people starting apprenticeships has fallen by more a third in Yorkshire and the Humber region in the last decade, and has dropped by almost a half in the Bradford South constituency.


Highlighting these figures during National Apprenticeship Week, Judith’s analysis of Government figures shows that since 2013, the number of people starting apprenticeship in the Bradford South constituency has plunged 45% - from 1340 a decade ago to just 730 last year.


Running from the 5th to 11th February, the National Apprenticeship Week aims to raise awareness of the huge contribution that apprentices and their employers make, and the benefits that apprenticeships bring to both workers and businesses.


Judith recently visited leading national training provider Realise, who deliver a wide range of apprenticeships and adult education programmes from their Bradford Skills Hub in Holme Wood.


Speaking on the importance of apprenticeships, Gregg Scott, CEO of Realise said: “We are proud to have supported well over 100 apprentices across Bradford in the last 12 months in early years, health and social care and other sectors.”


“Apprenticeships bring multiple benefits to the whole of society. For the learners – of any age – it is the chance for them to upskill and fulfil their potential in their careers, while employers and the local economy more widely can utilise the qualifications to provide genuine solutions to skills shortages.”


“Lives are changed every day through apprenticeships and we look forward to delivering many more bespoke programmes to hundreds more learners in Bradford in 2024.”


Following the visit, Judith said: “Apprentices, their employers, and training providers like Realise should be celebrated for their impact on our local economy. Bradford South is one of the region’s main manufacturing and industrial hubs, yet there are nearly half as many apprenticeships as there were ten years ago. That is a decade in decline of opportunities for local people.”


Labour’s plan to boost skills and drive economic growth will tackle the fall in apprenticeships by training over a thousand new careers advisors to provide professional advice and guidance at schools and colleges, alongside high-quality work experience for young people.


By turning the Apprenticeship Levy into a ‘Growth and Skills Levy’, Labour proposes to give businesses the flexibility they are asking for to deliver high-quality apprenticeships to train their workforce, fill skills gaps, and deliver economic growth.


Judith added: “Young people and adults are ambitious for their families’ futures. They want to learn new skills to get new jobs, or to get on and progress at work. We need to reverse this downward trend in skills and training and invest in work.”


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