ANNE Milton, the Government Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, has stressed the importance of getting more young people from Minority Ethnic backgrounds earning and learning.
She was speaking at a Celebration of Apprenticeships, organised at the House of Lords by West Nottinghamshire College and its Principal and Chief Executive Dame Asha Khemka.
Anne Milton, who is also Minister for Women, said that apprentices have a vital role to play in ensuring future economic prosperity.
She said that there should be no barriers to apprenticeships including sector, age, gender and ethnicity.
But the Minister added that there is a need to get more young people from Minority Ethnic backgrounds to take apprenticeships.
Her words were seized upon by Safaraz Ali, from the Pathway Group, one of the guests at the ceremony and founder of the Asian Apprenticeship Awards.
“The minister was correct to draw attention to the importance of apprenticeships and the need to get more people from minority ethnic backgrounds to get involved,” said Safaraz Ali.
“This is exactly the reason why we established the Asian Apprenticeship Awards. It was encouraging to hear the Minister stressing the importance of this work.”
Antony Jenkins, Chairman of the Institute of Apprenticeships, said that 75 per cent of businesses that employ apprentices believed that this had improved productivity.
He added that an apprentice could be expected to contribute £50,000 more to the national economy during a working lifetime than a traditional graduate.
Dame Asha Khemka was a winner at the first Asian Apprenticeship Awards in recognition of her contribution to training.
The second Asian Apprenticeship Awards is at Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham on Thursday, November 2.