Duncan met apprentices and their employers when he visited Wiltshire College in Chippenham as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2015.
Duncan met engineering apprentices who are currently combining work and training at local businesses with studies at Wiltshire College. He also met their employers, including representatives from Cooper Tires and AECOM.
Duncan also toured the new College’s new building, which is under construction following an £18 million grant from the Coalition Government which Duncan helped secure last year.
“It was great to meet some of the young people benefiting from our investment in apprenticeships and getting a great start to their engineering careers here in Wiltshire.
“Apprenticeships really are a great way for young people to gain the real-world skills and experience employers demand. I’m glad that the new College building will allow more young people to undertake training here as part of their apprenticeships.
“As I discovered when I took on an apprentice of my own, keen, hard-working apprentices are great for employers too, and I always encourage the local employers I meet to take one on.
“I and my fellow Liberal Democrats are now aiming to double the number of employers offering apprenticeships in the next Parliament, as part of our plans to build a stronger economy.”
More than 2.1 million people have started an apprenticeship since 2010, including more than 20,000 in Wiltshire – double the rate under the previous Government.
Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable introduced a £1,500 grant for employers who take on an apprentice, and in October he raised the minimum wage for apprentices by more than £1 an hour. From April 2016, employers will pay no National Insurance contributions on apprentices under 25.