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National Apprenticeship Week: Portsmouth MP backs plan to create over 9,000 apprenticeships in South East

Stephen Morgan MP is calling on the government to adopt a plan to create over 9,000 new apprenticeships for young people in the South East as the city marks National Apprenticeship Week.

National Apprenticeships Week recognises the enormous contribution made by apprentices and their employers in Portsmouth, giving people the chance to earn as they learn and delivering the skills our country needs to prosper. However, under the Conservatives these training opportunities have been disappearing especially for young people. The government has overseen a decline in apprenticeship starts of 460 since 2010 in the city MP’s constituency of Portsmouth South.

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 9,023 new apprenticeships in the South East 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.

The Member of Parliament for Portsmouth South, Stephen Morgan, said:

“National Apprenticeship Week recognises the enormous contribution made by apprentices to our city’s economy and wider society.

“However, the Government is not doing enough to support opportunities for local young people or for Portsmouth’s economy in order for it to prosper after a decade of decline.

“I’ve seen first-hand the power of apprenticeships to transform lives after talking with apprentices and employers. That’s why I am calling on Ministers to back this plan to boost opportunities for local young people and help secure our economy post-pandemic.”

Shadow Minister for Further Education and Skills, Toby Perkins MP, said:

“The Conservatives have overseen a decade of decline in apprenticeships, failing to secure the skills and training opportunities our country needs.

“Instead of focusing on creating new opportunities for young people and tackling the skills shortages across key sectors of the UK economy, this government is distracted by scandals at the heart of Downing Street.

“Ministers should adopt Labour’s plan to create thousands of new apprenticeships this year, securing the opportunities young people need to gain productive skills and support our economy to prosper.”