HS2 should create 33,000 apprenticeships - Ed Miliband

31 January 2013

ed miliband

HS2 should create 33,000 apprenticeships - Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband's article for The Sun

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in an article for today’s Sun, wrote:

"This week, we learnt a shocking fact about Britain.

"Among the major European countries, we are in the relegation zone when it comes to youth unemployment.

"Only crisis-hit Spain has higher numbers of young unemployed than the UK.

"Nearly one million British youngsters cannot find work, and tens of thousands have been seeking jobs for more than a year. That is bad for our country.

"We need a plan to use the talents of every young person, and it’s time we did something to help the 50 per cent of youngsters who don’t go to university.

"We need a new generation of skilled workers and new apprenticeships.

"So Labour’s plan is to say that every big firm that gets a contract with the Government must commit to training young people for high-skilled jobs.

"In the new £33 billion high speed rail project linking major cities, we have a massive opportunity.

"Experts say for every £1 million spent on this type of project, there should be at least one apprenticeship created.

"So HS2 should create at least 33,000 apprenticeships and, as Prime Minister, I would work to make that happen.

"And that’s just the start of what we need to do. Let’s start in schools with high-quality teaching of subjects such as engineering, design and technology, ending with a new gold standard qualification called a Technical Baccalaureate.

"Let’s not just have a national application system — UCAS — for those who go to university. Let’s have one system for all, including apprenticeships.

"Let’s respond to employers who say they can’t hire young people with the right skills, and put them in charge of how training money is spent.

"Where there are skill shortages, let’s work with business to ensure workers already in this country get the training they need. So they can fill them.

"Whitehall takes 500 of the brightest graduates from our top universities every year and fast-tracks their careers on good salaries. Let’s give the same opportunities to youngsters who are ready to knuckle down and learn on the job, in tough apprenticeship schemes. It should start in the offices of ministers in the Government.

"There should be at least one apprentice in every office.

"I believe in building One Nation — a country where everyone plays their part and no one gets left behind.

"Making sure we do the right thing by the forgotten 50 per cent of youngsters is part of creating a One Nation Britain.

"It’s not the direction of our education system under this Government.

"Vocational education is being sidelined, the curriculum narrowed and the Government seems to believe we can succeed by just focusing on a few.

"That’s not right. We all know that this country works best when everybody works — and works together.

"The Sunemployment campaign has done much good, getting more than 60,000 people back to work and cutting the benefits bill.

"Your roadshows help show people what work is on offer. Labour’s Youth Jobs Taskforce will do the same thing.

"Aspiration and ambition should be the right thing for all our young people — not just those who go to university.

"We will not be able to rebuild our economy unless we learn to value the part everyone has to play."