BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable visited PM Training, a leading provider of apprenticeships for young people in Staffordshire, on Thursday, June 12.
Mr Cable was shown how PM Training, which is part of the Aspire Group and has a base in Queen Street, Leek, helps young people into work by providing on the job learning and teaching in core skills such as maths and English.
PM Training is the largest provider of 16 to 18-year-old apprenticeships in Staffordshire.
The young people are placed in a network of 900 local businesses in areas including construction, business administration and engineering.
The company is a social enterprise and it specialises in supporting and providing job opportunities to young people who may have left school with very few or no qualifications.
PM Training has also been working with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on its changes to the national standards for apprenticeships.
Will Nixon, chief executive of PM Training, said: "PM Training provides hundreds of young people across North Staffordshire with the opportunity to do well in life through an apprenticeship.
"We also create great social benefit through the contribution young people make to the businesses where they work and by bringing a wage into their family home.
"We are very pleased to welcome the Business Secretary, to show him what we do and to explain how we need the support of the Government to make sure the new apprenticeship framework meets the needs of the kind of young people who we train here."
Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable said: "I have been looking forward to seeing first-hand the commendable work being carried out at PM Training.
"Thanks to the good work of companies like PM, apprentices are now a key and valued part of the workforce for businesses large and small.
"The huge increases in apprenticeships, which have been overseen by this Government, is one of my proudest achievements.
"I hope that the young apprentices we meet today will go on to inspire other young people to consider vocational learning."