John Denham MP, Labour's Shadow Business Secretary, said in response to the Tory-led Government's announcement on apprenticeships today:
“Labour lifted the apprenticeship system from its knees, improving the status of apprenticeships and increasing places. 280,000 started an apprentice in our last year of government alone, more than four times as many as in 1997.
“You can't trust this Tory-led Government on apprenticeships - they are ending the guaranteed apprenticeship for every 16-18 year old who wants one. Labour accepts the need to make savings in the wider adult skills budget, but taking away training from more than 500,000 people a year – as the government are doing – is an example of this Tory-led government going too far and too fast. The government has no plan for improving skill levels, no plan for increasing our competitive edge and no plan for growth. The prospect is fewer opportunities, not more.”