Wiltshire

Apprenticeship shortage in Swindon

Swindon College has said there is a shortage of hundreds of apprenticeship places for young people in the town.

Swindon has been described by the National Apprenticeship Service as the worst in England for employing apprentices.

Evelyn Little, from Swindon College, said: "We've got in excess of 300 youngsters on our waiting list that want to do apprenticeships."

She blamed the shortage on employers downsizing during the recession.

The college recently launched the Apprenticeship Employer Network for businesses in Wiltshire to discuss common experiences.

Speaking the day after this year's GCSE results were announced, Ms Little said the shortage was across all sectors.

"The difficulty in Swindon is because we've been hit so badly over the last two years with the recession," she said.

"We've got the difficulty that employers, in some instances, have had to downsize their companies considerably, and then taking on the investment of an apprenticeship is, perhaps, not at this moment in time something they want to do."

Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson last month urged young people to consider becoming apprenticeships instead of going to university.

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