Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin welcomes U-turn on apprenticeship funding

Dudley MP Ian Austin has welcomed a Government U-turn on plans to slash apprenticeship funding by up to half in areas like Dudley.

The Government had 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 the country.

It has now dropped these plans and promised to boost funding for 16-18 year olds instead.

Austin recently conducted a survey of thousands of local residents and found that more than nine in ten opposed cuts to local apprenticeship funding.

The MP wrote to the Skills Minister Robert Halfon to share the results and urge him to rethink the cuts along with other Labour colleagues.

Ian Austin said:

“I’ve been saying for a long time that we need to make education and skills Dudley’s top priority to help local businesses grow, give young people a good start and help older people get new jobs too.

“Everyone knows savings have to be made, but the local people I listened to opposed cuts to funding for apprenticeships that would hit people that want to work hard and get on.

“I am delighted that by working together with local people and my Labour colleagues we have made the Government see sense and back local apprenticeships.”

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