Sir Alex Ferguson Champions Apprenticeships At Unite Union Conference

Fergie Champions Apprenticeships

Sir Alex Ferguson is to speak about the importance of apprenticeships at a trade union conference.

The Manchester United boss will address a gathering of the Unite union at the Mechanics Institute in Manchester.

Sir Alex, who is a former Glasgow shipyard trainee in Govan and union shop steward and a long-standing supporter of the Labour Party, will highlight the importance of apprenticeships, training and funding to youngsters.

He said: "It is only when you had the opportunity to have an apprenticeship did you realise the long-term benefit. Anyone who had that experience will have appreciated the skills they learned.

"Over a long period in our industry, apprenticeships have been neglected and that has to change.

"Great Britain was admired throughout the world for its ability to produce quality through the craftsmanship of its workforce and now is the time to bring about a regeneration of those times.

"Apprenticeships offer that opportunity for business to build from within their own confines and create an atmosphere of loyalty and continuity."

Unite assistant general secretary for manufacturing Tony Burke, who will also be speaking at the event, said: "It is very apt that Sir Alex, whose commitment to developing young talented people into international footballing stars is universally admired, should be speaking on the importance of bringing young people forward through skilled apprenticeships and top-quality training."

Mr Burke said Unite believed that, even in a grim economic climate, manufacturing and science-based companies needed to take on apprentices and train their workforce.

He continued: "Apprenticeships today will translate into the skilled workforce of tomorrow. That should be our goal for the future viability of British manufacturing and our science-based industries."


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