Faisal Rashid, MP for Warrington South, recently spoke at a debate in Westminster on apprenticeships and skills.
During the debate, Faisal said that after 8 years of inadequate Government investment, young people were being poorly prepared for a jobs market that is becoming increasingly fragmented and insecure.
Referring to research published by the Federation of Small Businesses, he said that many small businesses were struggling to fill skilled jobs, with almost a third of recruiting firms facing skills shortages. He added that according to a London School of Economics report on England’s qualifications gap, skilled trades comprised nearly half of all occupations reporting skill-shortage vacancies, at 43 per cent.
While Faisal made it clear that the apprenticeship levy was a welcome measure, he stressed that it only begins to address the scale of the problem. He concluded by calling on the government to introduce measures ensuring that the levy funded apprenticeships of a high quality.
Faisal Rashid MP said:
“The future of our country depends upon how well we can equip younger generations to face the challenges ahead. Sadly, eight years of Tory government have been eight long years of failing to properly invest in young people. The reality is that we now have a growing skills gap.
“Employer-led training is the most effective way of meeting our growing skills gap. While I support the apprenticeship levy, I want to see steps put in place to ensure that every apprenticeship is of a high quality.
“Labour proposed achieving this in our 2017 manifesto by requiring that the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education report on an annual basis to the Secretary of State on quality outcomes of completed apprenticeships. By doing so, this would ensure that they are delivering skilled workers for employers and real jobs for apprentices at the end of their training.
“An effective apprenticeships and skills policy is crucial to closing the productivity gap and boosting our competitiveness globally. As we face critical questions about our trading relationships with the rest of the world post-Brexit, it is now more important than ever to reflect upon the skills we wish to see in the workforce of tomorrow.”