Labour and Tories stop Lib Dem plans to double council apprenticeships

Lib Dem plans to double the number of Portsmouth City Council apprenticeships have been torpedoed by Conservative and Labour councillors.

Lib Dems on the Council's Employment Committee wanted to double the number of apprenticeships to 50 each year. Currently, the Council offers 25. However, currently it has more in post and there are up to 100 applicants per apprenticeship.

Tory and Labour councillors on the Committee voted together to stop this plan, saying setting a specific figure was unfair. The Committee instead voted to ask officers to see how more could be generated.

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth South, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, who sat on the Committee, said:

"The Kings Theatre has six apprenticeships a year with many fewer staff. I am baffled why the Council, which employs so many more, cannot agree to provide an even 50 a year. We must help give young people the best start in life and apprenticeships is a great way to do that."

Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate for Portsmouth North and Committee member, Cllr Darren Sanders, said:

"Our city has seen apprenticeships triple since 2010. The Council is one of its biggest employers. It is a shame Conservative and Labour councillors reject tough, but fair, targets for something that gives hope to so many."

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