Thousands of apprenticeship posts created

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More than 5,430 people were on an apprenticeship last year in Sheffield, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has revealed.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrats’ spring conference, the Sheffield Hallam MP said the figure is 54 per cent higher than in 2009/10 - the last year of Gordon Brown’s Labour Government.

Mr Clegg said the figures are a ‘big boost’ for apprenticeships and for young people in Sheffield.

The statistics were released to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, which aims to raise awareness and celebrate the successes of the apprenticeship scheme.

Mr Clegg said: “Apprenticeships are a first class way for young people to start their career, earning the skills necessary to gain work and get on in life.

“Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government have promoted and invested heavily in apprenticeships because they are one of the most effective ways of helping young people get jobs.

“From visiting businesses in Sheffield I know first-hand that apprenticeships allow us to build a stronger economy with a highly-skilled and flexible workforce.

“I hope that National Apprenticeship Week is another opportunity to celebrate the success of our apprentices and for businesses to see how valuable apprentices can be to them.”

Sheffield Council has set aside £500,000 of funding to help create 100 apprentices during the 2012/13 financial year - and has pledged to continue its scheme for the next year.

The council part-funds training placements on condition employers also provide funding for young people taken on.