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Apprenticeships reach 2m milestone

Two million apprenticeships have been started since 2010, Vince Cable has announced.

The Business Secretary said that reaching the landmark is a testament to the Government's commitment to the training schemes.

Apprenticeships are successfully teaching young people the skills they need to get a good job and supporting businesses, Mr Cable insisted.

Official figures show that in the full year 2013/14, there were a total of 440,400 apprenticeship starts. This is down from 510,200 starts in 2012/13.

In 2011/12, there were 520,600 starts and in 2010/11 there were 457,200.

Mr Cable marked the latest milestone by meeting the two millionth apprentice, Paige McConville, 16, who started an advanced apprenticeship in engineering manufacture with FMB Oxford in August.

"Reaching the 2 millionth apprenticeship is testament to this Government's commitment to apprenticeships," he said. "Paige and her employer are a shining example of how apprenticeships give young people the chance to start a career and give businesses the talent to grow.

"This isn't just about numbers. From space engineering, to TV production, to legal services, apprenticeships are the ticket to a great job and a route employers trust to access the skills they need."

Mr Cable also announced 22 new apprenticeships, in professions including civil engineering and health and social care, which have been designed by employers who are part of a government scheme which sees firms create apprenticeships to meet the needs of their industry.

Neil Carberry, CBI director for employment and skills, said: "Apprenticeships are an essential route to tackling youth unemployment and narrowing the UK's skills gap, and today's milestone is testament to the thousands of employers who have taken on apprentices.

"As the programme grows, it is vital that we make progress on giving more young people a chance to build good careers with higher-level apprenticeships."

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