As thousands of our young people head off to start College life this week I am thinking of the part apprenticeships can play in providing some of our young people with worthwhile employment and rewarding careers.
Earlier this year I presented an comprehensive proposals to Government which focussed on the important contribution apprenticeships make in other countries particularly Germany and Switzerland. I have been really impressed with the German system where apprecticeships can lead to over three hundred different occupations and are not limited to the traditional trades.
Today, I welcome the initiative being taken by Conor Brennan of Zurich Insurance who have successfully applied to the Apprenticeship Council for a new apprenticeship scheme which will give a number of young people a pathway to a rewarding career in the Insurance Industry. I believe this is an excellent example of the role apprenticeships can play if Business, Government and Training Bodies work together and employment opportunities can be boosted for our young people.