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Mel Stride

Local Apprenticeships Matter

Fri 3 May 2019

By Mel Stride

Recently we had National Apprenticeship Week which was an excellent opportunity for me to catch up with some of those in the constituency who are involved in training and wishing to take on apprenticeships. This is a skills area that the government has rightly prioritised with hundreds of thousands of new apprentices being taken on each year. There are apprenticeships available for over 1,500 different job roles – everything from engineering to hairdressing. From the employer’s point of view apprentices provide a valuable contribution to the workforce with training support provided offsite for typically a day a week. From the apprentices point of view skills and training can be secured at the same time as earning a salary as part of a proper job and without having to take on the kind of financial commitments that typically come with a university education. The value of an apprenticeship is clear with a higher level apprentices translating into around £150,000 extra earnings across a career. So it was great to catch up last week with Moor Training in Okehampton who specialise in plumbing and domestic heating apprenticeships. Aimee Worrall and her team do an amazing job getting young people ready for the world of work and contribute significantly to the local economy in the process. I have fond memories of attending one of their graduation ceremonies and handing out certificates to a number of very well deserving apprentices. I also caught up with Ben Goodall at Focus Training who are based in Heathfield. This forward looking company is providing apprenticeships in areas such as Retail, Hospitality, Care, Sales, Warehousing, Business Administration, Management, Team Leading and Customer Service. The company operates right across Devon and Cornwall and is shortly to open a new training centre in Plymouth. Also I was pleased to catch up with farmers who are looking to take on apprentices. This is an excellent way of helping not only to bring new skills into farming but also to make sure that farming attracts younger owners and younger managers of the future. This was also an opportunity to answer questions around Brexit and particularly about the possible tariff policy we might adopt if we leave without a deal with the EU. The level of tariffs that we set on our rest of the world trade will have to balance the need to keep food prices under control but at the same time protect our domestic agricultural sector. Farmers will in my view need some level of tariff protection and of course we also need to make sure that there is a level playing field between our farmers and their high standards and those of overseas farmers whose food we import. This is an issue that I have pressed hard with ministers in government and I am confident that we will be doing the right thing by our vital agricultural sector. To learn more about the opportunities offered by apprentices visit More from Mel on twitter at @MelJStride and online at 

Other columns by Mel Stride

Busy right across the constituency - Tue 9 Nov 2021
Investing in local public services - Mon 2 Aug 2021
Corona - A year on - Mon 14 Jun 2021
Supporting our Local Communities in difficult times - Mon 1 Mar 2021
The PM’s first year - Thu 1 Oct 2020
Quizzing the PM - Tue 7 Jul 2020
It’s the economy, stupid! - Tue 11 Feb 2020
Vision for the Future - Mon 2 Dec 2019
Into the Cabinet - Thu 1 Aug 2019
Huge shot in the arm for our High Streets - Thu 24 Jan 2019
Reading - Thu 8 Nov 2018
EU - In or Out? - Mon 11 Mar 2013
Opportunity. - Tue 22 Jan 2013
Where do we begin? - Tue 13 Nov 2012
To Infinity and Beyond - Wed 5 Sep 2012
Working in Westminster - Sun 1 Jul 2012
A Better Balance - Thu 5 Jan 2012
Capital Shame - Mon 7 Nov 2011
Olympic Feat... - Sun 11 Sep 2011
The Coalition - A year on - Mon 11 Jul 2011
Labour Dreams - Sun 17 Apr 2011
Now we really must mean Business - Thu 10 Mar 2011
Freedom and Responsibility - Sun 9 Jan 2011
A leader for Labour - Thu 4 Nov 2010
Education and Freedom - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Tradition and Words - Mon 6 Sep 2010
Mel Stride - Early Days in Westminster - Tue 6 Jul 2010
Mel Stride Conservative Parliamentary Candidate on The Big Society - Mon 3 May 2010
A look back over my years as Conservative parliamentary candidate and contributor to The Cottage - Sun 28 Feb 2010
Building the homes of the Future means giving Power to the People - Thu 3 Dec 2009
Early memories... - Wed 4 Nov 2009
As General Franco lay dying... - Tue 20 Oct 2009

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