The Welsh Liberal Democrats Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called for the Welsh Labour Government to do more to raise the profile of apprenticeships and to simplify the information and application system to widen access.
Between 2006/7 and 2012/11 the number of people on apprenticeship placements in Wales fell by more than 25%. Mr. Black will take part in a Welsh Liberal Democrats-led debate in the National Assembly suggesting key ways to reverse this decline, by overcoming the barriers that prevent young people from seeking and applying for an apprenticeship programme in Wales.
Peter Black commented:
"Jobs and economic growth are a priority for the Welsh Liberal Democrats. We must get Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend's economy moving and apprenticeships will have to play a key part in that.
"I don't believe the Welsh Labour Government has been proactive enough in opening up access to apprenticeships. Youth unemployment in Wales remains stubbornly high. Therefore it's essential that we start equipping people in our area with the skills needed to get themselves onto the employment ladder.
"Whilst raising the profile of apprenticeships, we also need to be looking at how the system can be made simpler. A number of people have come forward to me and said that they have little idea how to actually enrol for an apprenticeship.
"Youth unemployment in the UK was allowed to rise by more than 40% during Labour's thirteen years in office. This trend mustn't be allowed to continue. The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to build a stronger economy in a fairer society. "