Speaking in the European Parliament this week, Anthea McIntyre thanked the Czech draftsman, Martina Dlabajova, for her excellent report on creating a competitive EU labour market for the 21st century.
"This deserves our support. It contains very worthwhile ideas which are concise and targeted and can add real value to the debate on employability."
Miss McIntyre focussed her remarks on the areas of entrepreneurship and work based learning: “The report highlights the need to remove bureaucratic obstacles with which SMEs are confronted to enable them to achieve their full job creation potential and the need to promote an entrepreneurial mind-set in Europe. It calls for institutions to be more business friendly and to support young people in transforming their ideas into successful business plans.
“The report also recognises the importance of fostering work-based learning apprenticeships as an alternative route to employment.”
Speaking from her knowledge of the West Midlands, Miss McIntyre said: “I was very privileged to visit the Goodwin Group in Stoke-on-Trent last Friday. This is an engineering company established in 1883, who believe that a radical new approach is needed to raise the level of the individual worker to the standard required for the future.
“So they have built their own state of the art training school that is a centre of excellence for 125 engineering apprentices. The majority of the training is in the form of one to one placements in the various areas of the company and leads to a worthwhile and fulfilling career within the Group.
“I was so impressed with the apprentices and with the company. This is a great example of matching skills with demand and creating really good job opportunities.”