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No lifeline for shipyard apprentices?


Several hundred apprentices at trouble-hit Merseyside shipyard Cammel Laird are facing the prospect of having to leave their jobs without a certificate to their names, according to the Guardian today.

Cammel Laird called in the receivers two weeks ago, despite having secured new orders in March. 150 jobs were lost last week, with another 170 last at the company's shipyards on Teeside and Tyneside.

The apprentices, which the paper says make up a third of the workforce in Birkenhead, face the prospect of redundancy before having completed their four-year apprenticeship period. Apprentice Anthony Hardacre is quoted as saying: "If we have not got our certificates behind us, then it doesn't mean anything to other companies because we are not time served." A union representative argued that the apprentices, all in their early twenties, had been 'abandoned by Tony Blair's government'.

At the end of February, the paper reported that the government had given £140,000 to the local TEC to help support those affected by the redundancies.

News update:News website Ananova reports that since the apprentices stories were highlighted, the government has moved to guarantee they will be able to complete their training, even if it means moving to another work placement. The site quotes GMB union general secretary John Edmonds as saying: "The Government is moving
heaven and earth to make sure that these youngsters, the future of UK engineering and shipbuilding, finish their training with the least amount of disruption."


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