Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin slams funding cuts for local apprentices

Dudley MP Ian Austin has slammed a government decision to slash apprenticeship funding by up to half in areas like Dudley.

The Government’s Skills Funding Agency recently announced that it would cut funding rates for 16-18 year old apprentices by around 30 percent, rising to over 50 percent or more for apprentices living in the most deprived areas of our country.

Research by FE Week has shown that the two most popular apprenticeships for this age group – Business Administration and Construction – face cuts of between 27 percent and 52 percent.

Austin is raising concerns that the funding cuts could prevent young people in Dudley from getting the vocational training and careers they want.

He has joined 54 of his Labour colleagues to write to the Skills Minister Robert Halfon urging him to rethink the cuts and support young people looking to start work.

Ian Austin said:

“I’ve been saying for a long time that we need to make education and skills Dudley’s number one priority to attract new businesses and jobs to replace the ones that we’ve lost.

“Everyone knows savings have to be made, but slashing funding for apprenticeships hits young people that want to work hard and get on.

“That’s why I’m urging the Government to think again and support apprenticeships in places like Dudley to boost jobs and local businesses that need technical skills.”

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