Keighley and Ilkley’s MP, Robbie Moore, has joined young people, major business organisations and policy leaders to discuss how to level-up apprenticeships for young people across our local community.

The roundtable, organised by The Co-op, and the Purpose Coalition - a cross-party social mobility and levelling up organisation - provided an opportunity to discuss real world learnings from apprenticeships, and how organisations and government can work together to make them even better.

The event brought together some of Britain’s leading policy thinkers, including Policy Exchange and Young Enterprise - a charity that equips young people for the skills they need for the future.

The roundtable also saw new research published by the Co-op and VotesforSchools, where 24,000 young people aged seven to 16 years were surveyed.

The research showed that one in three (35 per cent) of young people aged 12-18 are more likely to choose an apprenticeship for their career path, compared to three years ago – and for nearly two-thirds (64%) of these young people, the increase in the cost of living is something that makes them more likely to make this choice.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) of the young people surveyed believe apprenticeships are more important now than before the cost-of-living crisis. Over half (51 per cent) of young people said having opportunities to develop skills was an important consideration when thinking about their future career path, while two-fifths (43 per cent) said being able to get paid while also training was an important consideration.  Mr Moore said: "Apprenticeships give our young people a great way to learn while they are working, helping them take a fast-tracked route to a highly skilled job. And for employers, apprentices bring passion and energy into their business and are a great way to get the skilled work force they need."

Claire Costello, Chief of People and Inclusion Officer at The Co-op said: “Apprenticeships are a key means to create the opportunities that young people say they want and to promote social mobility. They also ensure everyone has an equal chance to fulfil their potential, no matter who they are or where they are from.”

Caitlin Tweed, a Co-op Legal Services Apprentice said: “Working at Co-op has changed my life. I have always dreamed of becoming a solicitor, however my options of achieving my dream, without getting into debt were very slim. The role has enabled me to have that happy work life balance that everyone wishes for. My knowledge is growing everyday whilst earning a fair wage. I’m excited to see what the future brings working at Co-op legal services.”