Government promises major expansion in apprenticeships

A 50pc increase in the number of apprenticeships will help plug a shortfall in skills – a key issue for the East Anglian economy.

George Osborne announced a �250m investment in adult apprenticeships which will boost the number of courses offered by 75,000 a year by 2014/15.

The investment will be funded partly from savings from higher and further education budgets.

There are more than 190 different apprenticeship courses on offer nationally, offering vocational training in a broad range of areas including engineering, construction, agriculture, the arts, business, retail and care.

In recent years, increasing numbers of companies in the region have begun taking on apprentices.

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They include North Walsham-based Ladbrook Engineering, which has taken on its first apprentice in 20 years.

The chancellor also confirmed employment training scheme Train 2 Gain would be scrapped and replaced with a training programme focused on small- and medium-sized businesses in the spending review.

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