Apprenticeships and local jobs are key to our future

New apprenticeships mean more young people in Wiltshire are getting the skills they need to succeed. It is sad that the majority of constituents commute out of the constituency for work whilst we are crying out for plumbers, electricians and engineers locally. Apprenticeship schemes will help improve this and are part of my local plan for our area.

New figures show that over 3000 new apprenticeships have been started in this area since 2010 with a Conservative led government committed to helping everyone have the best opportunities. This means more young people getting the skills they need to get on in life and make the most of their talents – as they do locally at John Williams Heating Services in Chippenham.

University is just one of the paths to a job. For too long it was seen as the only route – apprenticeships and vocational training need to be promoted and given the same level of standing – I will fight to help make this happen.

Yesterday, I took Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith to meet JW Heating, a family run local business which employs 4 apprentices. Their Managing Director, Debbie Williams, is Wiltshire’s Apprenticeship Ambassador and works hard to spread the message that an apprenticeship is a fantastic way into employment and a wonderful way for employers to ‘grow their own.’

A future Conservative government would go even further, committing to deliver 3 million apprenticeships by 2020 – that’s thousands more for Wiltshire – funded by reducing the maximum amount that can be claimed on benefits from £26,000 to £23,000, and limiting young people’s access to housing benefit.

More local jobs and apprenticeships is at the heart of my plan for our community so I am glad that a Conservative Government will provide more funding more of them and will make sure they are high quality, teaching the skills that businesses need.

We are giving young people proper training and the prospect of a better future. Millions of young people are getting a good start in life, learning a trade, and knowing the purpose and pride that comes with that.

Do you know of any fantastic local businesses taking on apprentices? Let me know on michelle.donelan.mp@parliament.uk