Rt Hon Lord Lilley

    Peter Lilley chaired a session of ‘The Apprenticeship Council for Employers’ at North Hertfordshire College in Hitchin, last Friday. The event was an opportunity for employers and the college to discuss how they can tailor apprenticeships and training to meet employers’ needs and so provide a valuable start to students’ careers.

    Revealing that he had done an apprenticeship in aluminium technology in France when he left school, Peter Lilley said: “The great weakness of the British education system compared with our main competitors abroad has been a failure to provide the majority of young people – especially those who don’t go to university – with the chance to acquire vocational and technical skills. It is great to see North Herts College taking the initiative and creating partnerships with employers to help get apprenticeships right. The issue that local business people raise with me most frequently is the need to encourage apprenticeships, training and technical skills.”

    “Apprenticeships are a key government priority and schools and colleges, as well as employers, must work together to convince parents that a good apprenticeship or vocational course can be as prestigious a basis for a future career as going to university. I hope that ‘The Apprenticeship Council’ will continue to help change attitudes towards apprenticeships and build partnerships between employers and education providers to overcome the shortage of technical skills in our workforce and produce benefits for the economy as a whole.

    “There are now more apprenticeships than any year since the 1960s. The number of people enrolled in apprenticeship schemes across Hitchin and Harpenden has more than doubled since 2008 and I hope that with more initiatives like ‘The Apprenticeship Council’ this trend will continue.”

    John Gourd – Chairman of Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Signe Sutherland – Principal and CEO of North Hertfordshire College, Rt Hon Peter Lilley – MP for Hitchin & Harpenden

    Rt Hon Peter Lilley – MP for Hitchin & Harpenden chairing a session at 'The Apprenticeship Council'