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FSB responds to news the Apprenticeship Store has been reprieved

The Federation of Small Businesses has responded to the news Stockport’s Apprenticeship Store will not close in April. The Grand Central venue was under consultation for closure last autumn.

FSB Development Manager for Greater Manchester, Robert Downes, said: “This is really good news for businesses and young adults in Stockport, and across Greater Manchester. 

“It is heartening to see the Council did actually listen to the views put across in the consultation last autumn, which I understand were overwhelmingly against the closure proposals. 

“Apprenticeships are so important for the Greater Manchester economy, and are at the heart of plans to deliver the jobs and skills needed in this region for years to come. It was unthinkable that this valuable public service, which advises and helps both employers and youngsters navigate a process that can seem complicated, could have been closed. 

“Businesses are slowly waking up to the idea that apprenticeships are an effective and affordable way to upskill staff, and bring in the talent they need to grow. We need more young adults to take this route in to employment over the next few years, and more firms to offer them, so it’s great news all round that they will be able to continue accessing free, face-to-face advice and guidance from experts based at the Store.

“What we need now is to get the message out there that the service remains open for business, and for the council to explore other funding options to make sure it stays open.  This is an opportunity to look at ways to maximise the efforts of staff at the store right across GM, working more closely with schools and the Combined Authority to get the apprentice message out there.”