AS part of National Apprenticeship Week (held last week) Rachel Maclean, MP for Redditch, celebrated the vital contribution of apprentices in Redditch.

Since 2010 there have been 7,110 apprenticeship starts in Redditch, and more than 1.2 million new apprenticeship starts nationally since 2015.

Take-up of higher-level apprenticeships in 2016-17 was up by nearly 35 per cent compared to 2015-16.

As part of the week the MP visited companies in Redditch to see apprenticeships in action.

First, she went to MSP in Enfield, a leading manufacturer of springs and stampings then Bee lighting, which make high quality lighting solutions for the motor industry.

Mrs Maclean said: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Conservative Government’s strategy to expand opportunity and develop the skilled workforce the country needs. This includes working with industry to deliver an ambitious target of three million new apprenticeship starts by 2020.

“But we know there is still more to do, which is why we recently launched an education and funding review that will help people make more effective choices between the different options available to them, promoting parity of esteem between technical and academic pathways – something I am passionate about.”