The number of new apprentices in Milton Keynes has dropped by more than a fifth over the last year.
New figures show a 22 per cent drop in the number of people starting an apprenticeship, from 2,320 in 2012-13 to 1,800 in 2013-14.
This was the lowest number of people taking up apprenticeships in the last five years.
Andrew Pakes, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Milton Keynes South, said he had met with local business representatives to discuss how to raise the quality of training and apprenticeships
He said: “If we want to create more high-skilled, better paid jobs, we need to create more decent apprenticeship opportunities – particularly for young people. The latest figures show a significant drop in apprenticeship starts in the city.
“We also need to protect the quality of apprenticeships on offer both for businesses and apprentices themselves. I am really pleased to see the work that Milton Keynes College is doing to encourage businesses to work together to design the training and support we need in the city. But they also need a government that will help them raise standards and invest in better training for young people.”
But Mark Lancaster, MP for Milton Keynes North, described the figures as encouraging.
He said: “This is very encouraging news for MK and demonstrates that once government made the resources available, then our young people grasped the opportunities made available to them.
“I am particularly heartened by the engineering statistics, as the prospects for skilled manpower in this sector has experienced a recent decline.”
What industries did new apprentices join last year?
Agriculture, Horticulture and Animal Care: 0
Business, Administration and Law: 640
Construction, Planning and the Built Environment: 20
Education and Training: 0
Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies: 310
Health, Public Services and Care: 340
Information and Communication Technology: 70
Leisure, Travel and Tourism: 40
Retail and Commercial Enterprise: 380