Sinn Féin Economy spokesperson Conor Murphy has welcomed the Department for Economy’s decision to proceed with all-age apprenticeships in spite of the £130 million worth of cuts being levelled at the Department from the British Treasury.
The Newry and Armagh MLA said:
“I welcome the Department’s decision to deliver all-age apprenticeships in this financial year despite the severe cuts to the Department’s budget.
“These apprenticeships will for the first time provide funding for people over the age of 25 for their apprenticeship training across all industries, it therefore closes a key inequality in funding that existed between older and younger apprentices, the latter having already had this opportuinity.
“Delivering all-age apprenticeships will give more people the opportunity to earn as they learn and will allow them re-skill in growing industries like manufacturing and green technology where jobs are available.
“The delivery of all-age apprenticeships is not only an economic priority but also a New Decade New Approach commitment which was signed up to by the British government who have shamefully curtailed the Department’s ability to deliver this through their cuts.
“I commend Departmental Officials for ensuring that this commitment is delivered in this financial year, having spoken to businesses, workers and students it is clear we need more investment in our skills agenda over the longer term and that is something Sinn Féin is keen to pursue.”