Last updated: 21.08.14

Vince Cable announces government apprenticeship scheme

Business secretary Vince Cable has announced a new government apprenticeship scheme.

The Liberal Democrat MP was in Yorkshire to visit the Emmerdale television programme's set, as well as other companies based in the Leeds area.

Mr Cable revealed that the new campaign calls on young people to 'Get In. Go Far' by choosing an apprenticeship. Recent research commissioned by energy company British Gas found that more than two-fifths (41 per cent) of youngsters have considered taking an apprenticeship after school, with the government keen to push this route.

The business secretary said: "For too long there has been a divide between university and vocational education which has been damaging for both employers and young people. Placing university degrees and apprenticeships on an equal footing will help to break down barriers and better meet the needs of business."

He added that apprenticeship numbers, particularly higher apprenticeships?, have been increased greatly in the last few years and the government is hoping this trend will continue in the future.

Mr Cable said: "The reforms to apprenticeships enable employers to design and deliver apprenticeships that meet their needs, giving young people valuable qualifications and helping them to build successful careers from television production to advanced manufacturing."

Some 40 new employer-designed apprenticeships have been revealed by the government in sectors including engineering, hospitality, the legal profession and global dairy company and cooperative Arla Foods is among the firms to have embraced this route for young people.

Arla Foods, which is home to top dairy brands including Cravendale, Anchor and Lurpak, works with the National Skills Academy for Food and Drink to deliver the Eden Engineering Apprenticeship scheme.

Many individuals who sign up to apprenticeships continue to learn while they earn, perhaps by using online learning to add to their skills and knowledge at their own pace. Apprenticeships can be an appealing option for young people leaving school, as it provides them a good level of earnings while they can still further their future opportunities through e-learning courses.