By Daniel Hunter

Business Secretary Vince Cable will today (Thursday) call on local businesses in Southport to take advantage of the Government’s £1500 grant for employers to take on more young people as apprentices.

The Secretary of State will meet apprentices at Stork Technical Services, and see how they are making an impact on the company in highly-skilled jobs across the electrical and engineering departments, designing and manufacturing a range of heat-treatment equipment.

Earlier in the day he will lead a discussion with local employers at Southport College about the benefits of apprenticeships to businesses. While there he will also visit the Energy Training Centre, to see how students are learning skills for maintaining renewable-energy equipment. He will open a new University Centre, which offers a wide range of vocationally-linked university-level courses.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“The Southport organisations I’m visiting today are good examples of how to make the most out of apprenticeships, to the benefit of local people and businesses. It is useful to see how both educators and employers contribute to providing these much-needed opportunities in the region. I urge other employers in the North West to take advantage of the funding available, to give a young person a valuable job.

Stork Technical Services product line director Nigel Bleackley said:

“We are very much looking forward to the visit from the Secretary of State. We are happy to support Southport College in their Apprentice Training Programme, the Government’s apprenticeship initiatives and the national apprentice scheme as a whole. We think it is of huge importance that businesses take the opportunity to develop Engineers for the future.”

Southport College principal John Clarke said:

“We are thrilled and honoured that the Secretary of State has chosen to visit Southport College. The visit has come at an exciting time for us; we have reached a milestone by providing training for our 500th apprentice and our new Energy Training Centre is equipping students to meet the needs of emerging technologies. These new developments provide students with the opportunity to gain high value qualifications and develop well rounded vocational and academic skills."

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