I was encouraged to read about FE minister John Hayes' visit to the Nissan factory in Sunderland and his comments about the importance of apprenticeships (Further afield, September 3).
During the minister's visit it was announced that Nissan is committed to taking on an extra 75 apprentices over the next five years. This is to be welcomed and should be an example to other companies.
However, this led me to do a little research into the potential size of the apprenticeship "market". If we were to look at the 16 to 24-year-old age group, they account for over three million full-time employees in the UK. During 201011 there will be about 350,000 people participating in apprenticeship programmes, some will be over 24 years old and some will not be in employment. It is, therefore, reasonable to suggest that we have a current market penetration of approximately 10 per cent of those 16 to 24-year-olds.
John Herman, managing director, Intec Business Colleges, Warwickshire.