7020 apprenticeships started in Meriden since 2010

Since 2010, over 7000 new apprenticeships have been undertaken in the Meriden constituency according to Department for Education figures. Across the UK apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level - there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in the 2015 to 2016 academic year of which 131,400 were under 19.

The news has been welcomed by MP, Dame Caroline Spelman.

Speaking following the publication of the statistics, Dame Caroline said: 'I am delighted to learn that so many young people are undertaking apprenticeships across the Meriden constituency'.

'Whilst this is a great achievement, I am mindful that we must look closely at ways that we can better support young people in completing their apprenticeship training.

'Here in the West Midlands, one of the ways that is being achieved is through the introduction of a new scheme to provide discretionary travel to young apprentices and trainees which has been launched by WM Mayor, Andy Street'.

The 12 month pilot scheme will offer 50% discounts on all travel by bus and tram to the benefit of over 31,000 young people across the West Midlands.

The Mayor said: “Young apprentices and trainees are often some of the lowest paid employees so being charged the full fare to travel can take a huge chunk out of their wages. 

“It may also be a contributing factor in why some drop out before completing their apprenticeships and that is a shame. 

“Not only does that hurt their own future, it also hurts the future prosperity of our region because it’s critical our young people are equipped with the skills needed to fill the jobs being created here. 

“We hope this scheme will make it easier to them to continue on their chosen career path.” 

To find out more about the scheme, please visit: https://www.wmca.org.uk/news/more-than-30-000-apprentices-and-trainees-to-get-half-price-bus-and-tram-travel/