A SPECIALIST engineering firm near York welcomed the boost for apprentices in today's Budget as 'vital to invest in future skills'.

Paul Rose is chairman and director of Tadweld in Tadcaster which last year had a record year of growth, with new contracts totalling more than £2.5m during the past 12 months.

He said: "Both today’s budget and last month’s Apprenticeship Week revolved around the theme of ‘Build the Future’.

"With the skills gap in many sectors – especially engineering – reaching crunch time, the government needs to prioritise and support an apprenticeship programme that works for both candidates and businesses.

"Today’s announcement that apprenticeship incentive payments will be doubled to £3000, regardless of candidate age, is welcomed. Firms like Tadweld are committed to investing in skills, providing good jobs and building a strong future in our community.

"Building the future will not be possible if we do not nurture the skills we need. The economic impact of COVID has been felt most keenly by younger people, many of whom work in retail, hospitality and travel. Apprenticeships can provide these young people with a stable and rewarding career path.

"Today’s announcement improves the business case for apprenticeships. The government must now work with businesses across the country to ensure that there is sufficient interest from prospective candidates to fill apprenticeship opportunities that are vital to support the future of UK industry."