Although Barrow comes fairly low down in the league table when it comes to the number of young people applying to go to university (Barrow was in the bottom 10 constituencies in the UK) we have thriving and very successful apprenticeship schemes.
Now, going to Uni and getting a degree is wonderful, but everyone is different, and let’s face it whether it’s down to finances, or having to study away from home, or even finding the right course ,what works for some certainly won’t work for others.
The ability to mould generation after generation of people to become highly skilled and talented employees – experts in their field, is something that Barrow and Furness excels at. Nowadays there is a fantastic choice of apprenticeships and schemes for people to choose from.
A sentiment echoed by our Defence Secretary yesterday at Barrow Shipyard.
Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon visited BAE Systems, meeting with apprentices as the company unveiled its plans for its new £25 million pound training facility that will open next year.
The new development off Buccleuch Dock Road will have the very best facilities, including a teaching block, classrooms, offices, craft workshops and welfare facilities.
Apprentices will also have the opportunity to work on a to-scale sub mock up section, giving them ‘hands on’ experience in a controlled environment. Here they can develop their skills working to the tolerances required to build submarines.
The facility is being funded by BAE Systems Investment.
Speaking in Devonshire Dock Hall, where Audacious, Anson and Agamemnon - the fourth, fifth and sixth of seven Astute class nuclear-powered submarines - are under construction, Sir Michael said: "Barrow is leading British industry here. The apprentices I've talked to have been selected by BAE Systems to work on these submarines, and to have a £25m training facility, I can't recall visiting a British company which is investing so heavily and that of course is driven by our own £178m investment in defence equipment.
"It is great to see and you see no stronger supporters of the submarine programme than those apprentices. They are great, I'm so proud of them. They are committed to this programme, with Astute and Dreadnought taken together, the apprentices working on the fourth Dreadnought haven't been born yet. This is a long term investment in the skills the submarine programme needs.
"Barrow is leading the way in giving school leavers that highly-skilled high-tech career that they are entitled to."