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Apprenticeships: the way forward

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18 February 2010
Apprenticeships: the way forward Last week I was lucky enough to spend some time with a group of young apprentices in Downham. Tom, Bradley, Dominic, Michelle and Maria are all taking part in a painting and decorating scheme which is funded jointly by Lewisham Council and Phoenix Community Housing.

A few months ago, I was involved in securing funding for this scheme and it was great to see the project in action. At a time when jobs are still hard to come by, it was good to see government money being used in such a positive way. The Working Neighbourhoods Fund is being put to really good use in Lewisham and this project is just one of many which is making a real difference to people who want to gain skills and improve their chances in the job market.

The Phoenix Apprenticeship scheme is a great way of killing two birds with one stone – jobs that need to be done our housing estates get done (cleaning up stairwells, repainting railings etc) and young people get the chance to develop their skills and increase their chances of getting a good job in the future.

There was a nice write-up in the South London Press this week too – Bradley’s mum told me that she always knew he was going to be famous!

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