Rise in apprenticeships welcomed by business secretary Vince Cable

Over 1,000 more construction apprenticeships were taken up in the year from August 2010 to July 2011 than over the previous year, new government figures reveal.

26,560 apprenticeships were taken up in construction, planning and the built environment over the period, compared to 25,210 the previous year.

The number of apprenticeships taken up across all sectors was also up, from 279,700 in 2010/11 to 442,700.

Business secretary Vince Cable welcomed the news: “This Government’s unprecedented investment in apprenticeships is working for businesses and creating long term career opportunities for record numbers of trainees.

“I’m particularly pleased that vital sectors like construction, manufacturing and engineering are continuing to back apprenticeships, despite tough economic times. By helping firms build a stronger skills base, this investment puts businesses on solid foundations to deliver sustainable growth and a more balanced and inclusive economy.

“The Government will continue to improve and strengthen the apprenticeships programme to drive up standards, cut bureaucracy for smaller firms and deliver more advanced level and high tech training.”