Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride is using the launch of the tenth National Apprenticeship Week 2017 on Monday 6th March to urge local businesses to take on an apprentice. The week aims to raise awareness about apprenticeships and celebrate the huge growth in apprenticeships seen over the last decade. Mr Stride, who served as a ministerial aide in the business department in the early part of the last parliament, helping to deliver the huge increase in apprenticeships seen in recent years, said:

    “The benefits to employers of taking on an apprentice are huge – 9 out of 10 say that are satisfied with their apprenticeship programme and three-quarters say that apprentices have improved their business’s productivity or the quality of their product or service. The benefits to the apprentices are also sizeable with nearly three-quarters staying with the same employer after their apprenticeship finishes, 90% staying in employment overall and a quarter gaining a promotion within a year of finishing. Apprenticeships are becoming an increasingly popular way to transition from education to employment and I urge businesses who have not yet explored the benefits of taking on an apprentice to do so and schools in my constituency to do everything they can to promote apprenticeships to their students.”

    Joanna Giles, who began an apprenticeship at Ashburton Post Office aged 19 in April 2016 and received a visit from Mr Stride at the time to wish her luck in her new role, said:

    “I have thoroughly enjoyed my apprenticeship and the balance between working, studying and training as worked well. It has definitely proved the best option for me both in the short-term and my long-term career prospects. University isn’t for everyone and I think more young people should look into whether an apprenticeship would be right for them.”

    Apprenticeship participation increased to 899,400 in the 2015/16 academic year, up 3.2 per cent on 2014/15 and the highest number on record. Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries. Up to 28,000 quality apprenticeship vacancies are available online at any one time, with the quickest and easiest way to find out more information being to visit

    Photo: Central Devon MP Mel Stride visiting Ashburton Post Office apprentice Joanna Giles as part of last year’s National Apprenticeship Week.