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Labour in pre-election apprenticeship pledge

Every firm winning a major contract from the government will be required to offer apprenticeships if Labour wins the general election.

Launching its 2015 election manifesto in Manchester today [see attached], the party stated: “For too long we have failed to provide a system which makes the best use of the talents of young people.”

Other pledges included ongoing support for High Speed 2, a “swift decision” on London’s airport capacity, and a commitment to build 200,000 homes a year by 2020.

On apprentices, the party promised that “every firm getting a major government contract, and every large employer hiring skilled workers from outside the EU, will be required to offer apprenticeships”.

It manifesto also stated that Labour “will give employers more control over apprenticeships funding and standards”.

“In return, we will ask them to increase the number of high-quality apprenticeships in their sectors and supply chains.”

The party’s pledge comes on the day that sister publication Construction News and partners launched a campaign to save Building Lives, after the charity had its funding cut last month.

The #loveLIVES campaign seeks to raise £400,000 in 50 days in order to secure the short-term future of the organisation, which helps provide construction apprenticeships.

In today’s manifesto launch, Labour also pledged to support the construction of HS2 while keeping costs down and improving and expanding rail links across the North.

It added that it would support long-term investment in strategic roads and would make “a swift decision” on expanding airport capacity in London and the South-east, following the imminent release of the Davies Commission report.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said he would not promise a “shopping list” of proposals that he could not deliver.

Other Labour pledges include:

  • Unlock a Future Homes Fund by requiring that the billions of pounds saved in Help to Buy ISAs be invested in increasing housing supply.
  • Increase competition in the housebuilding industry by backing small builders, including through Labour’s Help to Build scheme.
  • Ensure at least 200,000 new homes a year are built by 2020, with first priority for local first-time buyers.
  • Provide security for renters by guaranteeing three-year tenancies with a ceiling on excessive rent rises.
  • Pass an English Devolution Act, handing £30bn of resources and powers to English city and county regions.
  • Return Britain to a leadership role in Europe, but reform the EU so that it works for Britain.
  • Guarantee no powers will be transferred to Brussels without an in/out referendum.
  • Push for a target to achieve net zero global emissions in the second half of this century.

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