Labour Peer will call for more apprenticeships during Halifax debate

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A public debate on the future of education will tonight be told the country needs to create more apprenticeship opportunities to drive down youth unemployment.

Lord Adonis, a former under-secretary for education and skills, is the guest speaker in the latest minster debate covering issues that affect society.

Lord Adonis at Halifax Minster with Tim Thornton, Rev Hilary Barber, Bishop Steven Platten, Lynda Johnson and Michael Gosling.

Lord Adonis at Halifax Minster with Tim Thornton, Rev Hilary Barber, Bishop Steven Platten, Lynda Johnson and Michael Gosling.

He will say huge strides had been made in education and now the challenge is to help those who don’t have a university education.

The agenda for education reform has to include a big boost to the quantity and quality of youth apprenticeships, Lord Adonis told the Courier.

“So, every young person has a pathway after school,” he said.

“But, it’s going to take a long time before an apprenticeship system is as strong as the university system.

“Our big problem is not those going to university, it’s the two-thirds of 17/18-year-olds who do not go and have poor levels of skills.”

Lord Adonis said only one in 10 young people have access to an apprenticeship and the task is to double or triple that figure, and businesses and organisations would have to reform their outlook and have entry levels for those aged 18 in addition to those leaving university.

He debated the issues with pupils from Calderdale College this afternoon and will address a public meeting between 6.30 pm and 8.30 pm in the minster this evening to which the public are invited.

Also attending will be Prof Tim Thornton, of the University of Huddersfield, Michael Goslin, principal at Trinity Academy, Halifax, and Lynda Johnson of Brighter Futures Academy Trust and Siddal Primary School executive head teacher.

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