NEARLY 1000 young people have started apprenticeships in Barrow since 2010, according to the town's MP. 

Simon Fell said small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) should also be supported in Furness, as well as large employers. 

The Government will fully fund apprenticeships in small businesses from April 1, paying the full cost of training for anyone up to age of 21. It will also increase funding from large employers paying the Apprenticeship Levy that can be passed on to other business, from 25 per cent on their unused levy to 50 per cent.

The Government says that this will enable up to 20,000 more apprenticeships. 

This means that SMEs can hire more apprentices by reducing costs and enabling more employers to get the skilled workers they need, according to the Department for Education. 

The Government is increasing investment in apprenticeships to £2.7 billion by 2024-25, and says that it has spent 98 per cent of the levy in the last two years. 

Mr Fell said: "Since 2010, we have seen 990 young people in Barrow and Furness start an apprenticeship, meaning hundreds more young people have gained the skills they need to secure good jobs.

"While it’s great that we have large employers in Furness, it is essential that we support SMEs too. Today’s announcement will build on that progress to support even more young people to fulfil their potential, while also helping small businesses make the most of our fantastic local talent and grow the economy.

"The Government is sticking with the plan so that every young person has the opportunity to succeed, building a brighter future for the next generation.”