Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has welcomed figures released yesterday which show that apprenticeship starts in her constituency are continuing to rise.

In 2013/14, 2300 people started apprenticeships in the Gosport area – a rise of 140 on the previous year and up 570 since 2010/11 when 1730 people took on apprenticeships locally. The drastic increase in the number of apprenticeship starts in the constituency has helped to bring down the local youth unemployment rate from 5.9% in May 2010 to 2.8% in November 2014.

Engineering and manufacturing technologies were the most popular sectors, accounting for 1140 apprenticeship starts in 2013/14. A number of high profile companies offer apprenticeships to young people in Gosport including QinetiQ, Defence Munitions and Vector Aerospace.

Caroline commented:

"Apprenticeships do more than offer young people experience of the work place; they facilitate the development of essential qualifications and skill sets which set participants on a lifelong career path within a given company.

The figures released today show that this Government's commitment to boosting apprenticeships is being fulfilled and I am pleased that businesses operating locally are investing in young people and taking action to tackle youth unemployment."

As a strong advocate of the learning and skills agenda, Caroline has a long-standing commitment to promoting apprenticeship opportunities and regularly champions this issue both nationally and in Gosport.