Eastwood welcomes confirmation on All Age Apprenticeships

Following the latest budget announcement from the Department for the Economy, Alliance Lagan Valley MLA Sorcha Eastwood has welcomed the news that All Age Apprenticeships will proceed in the current financial year, but has warned that the budgetary outlook is untenable. 

Economy Sorcha Eastwood Business

All Age Apprenticeships will see DfE fully fund the off the job training element of an apprenticeship under the Apprenticeship NI Programme.


The initiative had been put on hold earlier in the year as part of budget saving measures by the Department. 


“While I welcome the news that All Age Apprenticeships, which are an important element of the Skills Strategy, will proceed, the wider implications of this budget are devastating to our future economic outlook,” said Ms Eastwood.


“I am a passionate supporter of apprenticeships and believe they will be crucial to improving our current skills shortage, getting people into quality jobs, and reskilling people of all ages. However, in making the decision to go-ahead with All Age Apprenticeships the Department noted it was proceeding ‘at risk’, given savings they are expected to make.


“We should be talking about the economic potential of Northern Ireland, powered by the skills and talents of our people, but unfortunately given the DUP boycott and Conservative budget we are stuck in a downward trajectory.


“We urgently need the Assembly and Executive restored and functioning to have oversight on budget decisions and to put skills at the front of our economic plan.”