The Unite union's calling for urgent action to close the skills gap by providing apprenticeships to young people.
Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke will tell a conference in Manchester that decent, skilled apprenticeships today will translate into the skilled workforce of tomorrow.
The conference is being held by Unite and the Technical Apprenticeship Service.
Tony Burke said “In the UK we have a skills deficit which was created because even in the good times, the UK failed to take on enough young people in skilled apprenticeships.
"We are facing a demographic timebomb with an ageing workforce and if we are to pull out of the recession, the last thing we need is a skills shortage We need a new eco-system for skills in the UK. "
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