Havant MP Alan Mak has been elected as the co-chair of a parliamentary group which will lobby and promote apprenticeships in Westminster.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprenticeships is comprised of MPs and Lords from across the political
spectrum. It meets to discuss ways to bolster apprenticeships and engages with business leaders to better understand the situation on the ground.
Mr Mak was elected by his fellow MPs as the co-chair alongside Labour’s Catherine McKinnell, and the pair will work closely to ensure that apprenticeships are seen by Government as a pathway to a career.
It comes during National Apprenticeships Week, which celebrates the role apprenticeships play in boosting careers and helping people onto the careers ladder, and a week after Mr Mak's second Jobs and Apprenticeships Fair in Havant last Friday backed by the News.
After being elected by colleagues Mr Mak said he would be working hard to keep apprenticeships on the Government agenda and says he is a firm supporter locally. In Havant, the number of young people taking apprenticeships has doubled in the last five years to 1,000 starters.
He said: “I am delighted to have been elected as the co-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Apprenticeships and I will be working hard on the issue in Westminster, building on my success locally. I am a firm believer that apprenticeships help both employers and employees, giving young people the skills they need to succeed in life.”
Almost three million apprenticeships have been created since May 2010. This year alone 905,000 people are in an apprenticeship.
Recent changes have also been introduced to make it easier for businesses to hire apprentices. This includes scrapping employers’ national insurance contributions for apprenticeships under 25 and the Government paying 100 per cent of training costs for employers with fewer than 50 employees who take on apprentices aged 16-18. A new apprenticeships levy has also been introduced for all large firms.
Mr Mak added: “I am proud that the Government has such a strong record of promoting apprenticeships and is committed to delivering three million more apprenticeships by 2020. In my new role I’ll be working with the Government to ensure that apprenticeships remain a key priority.”
Picture: Alan Mak with fellow APPG for Apprenticeship co-chair Catherine McKinnell