Apprenticeships are the talk of the town (and everywhere else).

We are fast approaching the 2016 National Apprenticeships week in March so I thought it a good time to discuss all of the great goings on in the apprenticeship world.

Last week I visited Sky’s UK Headquarters and it was so interesting to see how they run their news centre.  Every day they welcome 3 different school groups showing them all the different opportunities for training in the world of TV and encouraging them to apply for media apprenticeships. I found the Sky Apprenticeship programme is creating so many opportunities for young people interested in TV and giving them the skills they need to succeed in a media environment.

I am also looking forward to hosting the HSBC Apprenticeships Graduation event in Parliament next Tuesday. It will be a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with the young people the completion of their apprenticeships which will set them on the right course for a career in financial services.

Closer to home great local businesses like Toyota, Bombardier, Rolls Royce, Futaba and Brunel Healthcare continue to offer high quality training to hundreds of our young school leavers and graduates with what I believe are some of the best schemes, if not the best, in the country.

We also had more great news in South Derbyshire recently when Matthew Yeoman of Castle Gresley won Keltruck’s prestigious Parts Apprentice of the Year award and got to visit Scania’s head office in Sweden. This follows on from Hannah Mills of Walton on Trent , an apprentice mechanic with VW in Burton, winning VW’s apprentice of the year showing girls can succeed in what has traditionally been a man’s world and not only succeed but beat them at their own game. Since I was elected in 2010, 5,650 people in South Derbyshire have undertaken an apprenticeship and it seems in the light of the awards we can really turn out the best in South Derbyshire.

The Government is doing so much to promote and encourage apprenticeships to show businesses just how beneficial their contribution can be. This Tuesday was also the National Apprenticeship Awards, where we saw so many young people receive accolades for their hard work and commitment to learning new skills. There was also more news this week with The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills launching a consultation on creating apprenticeships in the public sector. This will look at how the public sector can mimic how well the private sector has done in increasing the numbers of quality apprenticeships.

I will continue to promote apprenticeships locally and, in Westminster, I will continue to tell everyone how amazing our local companies are at teaching young people new skills which will stay with them their entire lives.