Region’s MPs praise rise in apprenticeships

Apprentices at JEB''Pictured: Tom Fleet being instructed by Andrew Athey on the Surface Grinder
Apprentices at JEB''Pictured: Tom Fleet being instructed by Andrew Athey on the Surface Grinder
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A 111 per cent increase in apprenticeships in West Suffolk has been praised by MPs Matthew Hancock and David Ruffley.

Mr Hancock, MP for West Suffolk, said: “It is fantastic that 970 people in West Suffolk started an apprenticeship last year, 510 more people are now benefiting from apprenticeships thanks to the Conservatives.

“We are getting behind people who work hard and want to get on in life.”

JEB Engineering Design Ltd, of Mildenhall, has been offering advanced apprenticeships for more than 30 years.

Training officer Andrew Athey said: “we offer them a four year apprenticeship they get basic training effectively being trained as an engineering tool maker.”

Apprentices with JEB Engineering will also achieve nationally recognised qualifications, including NVQs.

Mr Athey explained why it was so important for the company to invest in apprentices.

“It’s basically our future it’s very hard to find skilled people in the area.

“We need to train them up for what we need.” He said.

Richard Bridgman, apprenticeship advisor to Norfolk County Council employs 11 apprentices at Warren Services Ltd, of Thetford. He welcomed the increase in the number of apprenticeships started in the last year, but stressed the 
importance of them being high quality advanced apprenticeships with real job opportunities at their conclusion.

MP for Bury St Edmunds, David Ruffley, has echoed Mr Hancock’s praise.

He said: “Apprenticeships are a great way to help people get the skills they need to 
make a better future for themselves.”