Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Good News on Apprentices

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Good News on Apprentices

Article excerpt

Byline: MIKE HUGHES

TEESSIDE business leaders sifted through the embers of George Osborne's Comprehensive Spending Review and found some strong messages for the region.

Keith Hunter, managing director of the TTE Technical Training Group, was among those who welcomed the promise of a huge boost for adult apprenticeships, with up to 75,000 new places.

"While additional funding for all levels of apprenticeships would have been welcome, it is heartening that the Government sees the benefit of apprenticeship training for adults, he said.

"To support the investment in new energy technologies such as carbon capture and offshore wind, the transferable skills provided by technical apprenticeships will be of the upmost importance."

Paul Champion, managing director of the North East Apprenticeship Company, added: "The additional investment has got to be seen as a positive move and should help to safeguard apprenticeships for the immediate future."

Sandy Anderson, chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited, backed the transport improvements.

He said: "While it is too early to say how today's CSR announcement will impact on TVU specifically, we have a strong commitment from the five local authorities to support the organisation, which will be smaller, more focused and 'fit for purpose'.

"However, the Chancellor's confirmation that the pounds 57.6m allocated for the Tees Valley Bus Network Improvement programme is secure is very good news." WELCOME: Hunter On housing, chief executive of Coast & Country Iain Sim said: "Cuts in funding of this magnitude will present considerable challenges for those in the social housing sector, which is committed to providing affordable housing and protecting the vulnerable in society. What is going to compensate for the announcements is currently unclear, in terms of new policy initiatives to aid the provision of new homes and deal with the country's acute affordable housing shortage. …

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