New figures reveal there were 1,670 Apprenticeship starts in Torbay during the academic year 2011/12 – representing growth of 10 per cent from the previous year. The South West, as a region, registered 55,950 Apprenticeship starts.
There is a similar positive picture across the country, with Apprenticeship starts in England for 2011/12 topping the half million mark. This is an overall increase of 13.9 per cent on the preceding year.
Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Whenever I speak to businesses, a lack of trained workers is a frequent concern. Today's figures mean we are starting to turn the tide. Over half a million people took up an apprenticeship last year, showing that our investment in vocational skills is paying off.
Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: "It's great news that apprenticeships have gone up by 13.4 per cent in the South West, to 55,950.Apprenticeships are vital in the Government's drive to create a more highly-skilled workforce who are better able to compete in the global race. We are strengthening apprenticeships further to make them more rigorous, and to respond to the ever-changing needs of the modern workplace."
David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service said: "I am pleased that new data confirms that Apprenticeships overall are increasingly popular. Apprenticeships have much to offer and by working closely with employers, we have come a long way in raising quality standards."
"Our immediate and continuing focus is on growing Apprenticeships at 16-18, supported by the Apprenticeship Grant for employers to recruit a young apprentice, which is proving increasingly popular with small employers, and we are putting in place additional measures including a marketing campaign targeted at employers and young people."