DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has praised Sunderland’s Liebherr crane plant for supporting apprenticeships.
Liebherr has been named among the top 100 employers in the country in the City and Guilds and National Apprenticeship Service’s 2013 list of UK businesses that support apprentices.
Mr Clegg wrote to managing director Ralph Saelzer to offer his congratulations, saying: “Apprenticeships are at the heart of our drive for a stronger economy, equipping people of all ages with the skills employers need to help their businesses prosper and compete in a global market.
“As we work to increase the opportunities for hard-working young people to achieve their ambitions through high-quality apprenticeship training, it is vitally important that we celebrate the achievements of employers, like you, who go the extra mile to help their apprentices succeed.”
Liebherr’s Sunderland works employs 200 people and has helped train more than 60 apprentices over the last five years, Currently, more than 15 per cent of its workforce are apprentices.
“We have a responsibility, as employers, to bring through the next generation, and our commitment to apprenticeships is one way of doing just that,” said Mr Saelzer.
“As a business, we are totally behind apprenticeships, and I really do hope that the success we have seen as a result helps to convince many more companies to invest in young people.”
“Delivering apprenticeship programmes is something we are proud to do, and I am a strong advocate of this route for businesses of all sizes, operating across all sectors – not just manufacturing.”
Liebherr, manufactures cranes for customers around the world.
It was named winner of the the apprenticeship service’s regional awards in the medium employer category for the work it does to support the drive for apprentices.