Extra apprenticeships cash plea to council

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OPPOSITION councillors have renewed calls for Sheffield Council to use £400,000 saved by not paying staff who went on strike last year to help create a further 100 apprenticeship posts over the coming 12 months.

Liberal Democrats are proposing their plan as an amendment to Labour’s budget, which is to be debated by the full council on Friday.

The Lib Dem plan is backed by Deputy Primary Minister Nick Clegg, party MP for Sheffield Hallam.

The budget plans include £55 million of spending cuts, 550 job losses and service cuts.

Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Lib Dem group leader, said: “Lib Dems came up with a good positive idea to use the strike money to double the apprenticeship programme.

“Only two months ago, Coun Bryan Lodge, deputy leader of the council, told us he backed our plan.

“At the budget council meeting, we will propose an amendment to use the £400,000 to provide an extra 100 opportunities for young people.”

Labour’s apprenticeship programme has a £500,000 annual budget, part-funding placements. Employers also contribute to the cost.