Lib Dem MEP, Rebecca Taylor, spent a day seeing for herself what being a manufacturing apprentice is really like. Rebecca is one of a number of Lib Dem parliamentarians who have made it their business to better understand how apprenticeships work.
Rebecca visited Cristal in Stallingborough, who are a chemical manufacturing company and major employer in North East Lincolnshire. Cristal is the world’s second-largest producer of Titanium Dioxide, a bright white pigment used in the production of paint, plastics and paper Cristal take on up to 10 new apprentices every year, something that the Liberal Democrats are keen to see more employers do nationwide. During her visit, Rebecca also visited the CATCH Training Centre where she met some Cristal apprentices in their first year of training..
Under the coalition government there have been more than a million private sector jobs created. The Liberal Democrats are now working to see the private sector create a million more. As part of this drive there is also a push to see more apprenticeships, as the party recognises the value the individual gets from developing new skills, as well as the benefit companies get by investing in the skilled employees of the future. Figures from the National Audit Office show that apprenticeships deliver £18 of economic benefits for each £1 invested by the government.
Rebecca got to meet a number of apprentices and hear about their experiences.
Commenting after the visit Rebecca said,
“This was a great opportunity for me to hear first-hand what life for a young person starting out as an apprentice is like. It was great to hear from young apprentices at different stages of their training about what they do and what skills they are developing. All the young people I met were incredibly proud of their work and the apprenticeships they were undertaking were clearly setting them up for long successful careers. In fact, I also met many former apprentices who are now in positions of responsibility at the company; proof if any was needed of how valuable apprenticeships can be!
The Liberal Democrats are working to build a stronger economy and as part of this are investing in apprenticeships. I applaud Cristal and all other employers who take on apprentices. I encourage more to do so and would be happy to hear from any others who need help to take them on.”