The Rt. Hon John Hayes MP, the Minister of state for Skills, Further Education & Lifelong Learning, delivered an inspirational speech at the Norfolk Chamber’s High Five Lunch held on Friday 18 May.
The Minister provided an insightful review of his hard work and successes since coming into office in 2010. He has rejuvenated the apprenticeship system and put employers back in the driving seat. There are now almost 500,000 apprenticeship starts a year and the number of apprenticeships have increased across all sectors, in all age categories and in every region in Britain since 2010. The Minister advised that the key was to make the system more demand based, and to highlight how the Apprenticeship system could provide businesses with what they need.
Speaking to an audience of West Norfolk businesses at the High Five Lunch, held in King’s Lynn Town Hall, the Minister highlighted the importance of apprenticeships to Norfolk;
“Apprenticeships should be the vehicle of choice to up-skill the existing workforce in Norfolk and 88% of businesses that take on an apprentice said that they added value to their business. I see working with the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce as a way to increase the profile and the take up of apprenticeships, so that we can create the skilled workforce needed to ensure that the Norfolk economy grows and prospers”.
The Minister was introduced to the delegates attending the lunch by Henry Bellingham MP, who highlighted that “The local economy is remarkably resilient, but the whole skills agenda is absolutely pivotal to its future. That is why today’s event is so important. It will allow the Minister to see what we are doing in West Norfolk, together with the Norfolk Chamber, to ensure that we have the right skills in place for when the economy picks up”.
The High Five Lunch is a successful series of business networking events based in West Norfolk. The event was sponsored by Lloyds TSB Commercial and the National Apprenticeship Service. The next event in the series will take place on Thursday 5 July.
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