EDUCATION minister Robert Halfon has hailed The Sun on Sunday’s apprenticeship pullout.
Opportunities in bricklaying, carpentry and lorry driving are among 106 up for grabs today.
Mr Halfon said apprenticeships had been undervalued as he pinned the blame on former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair’s “blind push” to get young people into university.
And he praised our Builder Better Britain campaign to get more people into apprenticeship schemes.
The Tory MP said: “For too long apprenticeships have been undervalued with young people often guided to follow a single path — A-levels, then pack your bags for university.
“It is one of Blair’s many legacies that have done more harm than good.
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"His blind push to get young people into university, regardless of quality, was short-sighted.”
Mr Halfon said young people were being saddled with debt for “meaningless degrees” while the country lacks vital coders, engineers and electricians.
He added: “I am hugely grateful to The Sun on Sunday for its continued support of apprenticeships.”
It comes after Rishi Sunak launched a crackdown on Mickey Mouse degrees, warning universities they faced having their intakes slashed.
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He said people are being let down by the system and he wanted to end rip-off courses.
Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said: “Apprenticeships are a great way for youngsters to learn a great trade while getting cash in their pockets.
“From plumbers to sparkies, builders and other great trades and professions, they are a great launching pad for successful careers.”
Robin Walker, chairman of the education select committee, said: “There are such a wide range of apprenticeship opportunities now available at all levels.
“I’ve heard from employers that they no longer see them as just a route for entry level recruitment but a way of bringing on the next generation of leadership.”
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