Gordon Marsden MP, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth, commenting ahead of Labour’s Opposition day debate on using public procurement to boost apprenticeships, said:
“Labour will today demand that the Government uses the money which it already spends on public procurement to create new apprenticeship opportunities.
“This approach has won the backing of the cross-party Business, Innovation and Skills Committee and builds on what Labour did in government to ensure that apprenticeships were offered on the delivery of the Olympic Park and Crossrail, while Labour local authorities are also leading the way in using procurement to boost apprenticeships. Ed Miliband has recently outlined the real difference our plan would make, creating 33,000 new apprenticeships on the High Speed 2 project. Yet the Government has refused to back our plans.
“This is a key test for ministers at a time when there are almost one million young people out of work and the number of apprenticeships for 16 to 18 year olds has fallen.”