Support grows for apprenticeships campaign

Catherine McKinnell, MP for Newcastle North will present her Apprenticeships and Skills (Public Procurement Contracts) Bill, in Parliament tomorrow.

Ms McKinnell is leading a campaign to increase access to apprenticeships and hopes to use her ‘ten minute rule Bill’ to place a requirement upon bidders for public contracts to demonstrate a firm commitment to skills training and apprenticeships.

The idea, that has already drawn support from the TUC, Unison and the FSB amongst others, today received a further boost when during a visit to the region, former Housing Minister John Healey MP also publically backed the Bill.

Mr Healey met with Ms McKinnell at Newcastle Civic Centre and expressed his strong backing for the Bill’s goal of increasing access to apprenticeships.

‘This proposal, which enjoys strong cross-Party support, will reinvigorate industries vital to recovery, help cut unemployment and training shortfalls as well as reduce strain upon universities’ commented Mr Healey. ‘The proposition being made by Ms McKinnell is long-overdue and will introduce a strong element of fairness into the way in which we train our future workforce. I am pleased to be a sponsor of Catherine’s Bill and to see first-hand the great work being done by apprentices here in Newcastle today.

Ms McKinnell added, ‘this is about making sure that the financial investment that is required to expand vital skills training will be shared by both the taxpayer and the private firms that profit from public contracts. There is a widely-recognized need to increase access to apprenticeships and I am convinced that a simple way to do this is for those profiting from government money to share some of the cost.’