Said the Foyle MLA: “I very much welcome the announcement of £17.2m for enhanced apprenticeships. This is a move that I have been calling for over the last few months and it is a very positive step.
“As I have repeatedly stated, the COVID-19 crisis is placing a serious obstacle to the employment opportunities, in particular, for our young adults.
“If they are unable to gain access to the labour market now, they could stay outside for a very long time.
“So it is essential that we do everything we can to improve their skills and long term employability.
“Apprenticeships and other skills training programmes are essential for the employment prospects of our workers.
“They are also essential to reduce the risks of social division, financial hardship and the further fracturing of our society if we have young people excluded from the prospect of gaining employment.
“And we must never forget that good skills, along with strong infrastructure, will improve our productivity and generate future wealth for the benefit of all of Northern Ireland.”