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Apprentices deserve same treatment as university students, says North Yorks MP

Over the coming weeks young people across the region will be waiting anxiously to find out whether or not they've been offered a place at university.

The application process, run by UCAS, has now closed - but for those who've chosen not to go down the academic route, this time of year can be a frustrating one.

Now one North Yorkshire MP is calling for apprenticeships to be treated exactly the same as university applications.

Rishi Sunak believes without a UCAS system, young people looking for an apprentice scheme are often ignored, with very little information or help available to them.

Daniel Hewitt has been finding out more:

£550m Northern Powerhouse funding includes Sunderland project

Northern Powerhouse Minister Andrew Percy set to make announcement Credit: ITV

A share of £556 million of Northern Powerhouse money will go towards a project in Sunderland that's expected to create 5,200 jobs by 2027.

The International Advanced Manufacturing Park, near Nissan, will be built as part of the Government's bid to improve the North's economy.

A £49.7 million allocation of Local Growth Funding from Government has taken the 2015-2021 total for the North East to £379.6 million.

“We will work with our local authority partners, North East Automotive Alliance and the private sector to deliver this vitally important scheme, which is of strategic importance not only for the North East, but for the UK’s industrial strategy. "The Government has chosen not to back our full Local Growth Fund bid which is deeply disappointing and potentially damaging to our Strategic Economic Plan to grow the North East economy. "Our LGF allocation gives us no scope to fund a range of projects which would have driven new growth and provided real impetus to business development - as well as giving the North East the chance to contribute more fully to the Government's Northern Powerhouse agenda."

– Andrew Hodgson, North East Local Enterprise Partnership Chair

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Consett and Billingham affected by Post Office changes

The Post Office is to close and franchise a further 37 crown offices Credit: PA

Consett and Billingham are among the locations affected by new Post Office plans.

The Post Office is to close and franchise a further 37 crown offices, according to the Communication Workers Union.

They said around 300 staff and 127 financial specialist roles will be lost.

The Post Office is keen to stress that services should not be affected,

“We’re committed to maintaining the Post Office’s special place on the high street and the changes we are making underpin our continued commitment to give communities in every part of the country access to essential services.

“The Post Office’s network of more than 11,600 branches is easily the largest in the UK, with 17 million customer visits a week. The vast majority of these branches are run with partners, and in the locations announced today we believe this will also be a more sustainable approach for the long term. With consumer habits changing, and the high cost of maintaining premises in prime high street locations, franchising helps us to keep services where our customers want and need them.

“We will take time to identify the right partners over the coming months and all proposals will be subject to local consultation.

“Post Office has a strong record of supporting people through change and we will be keeping affected staff fully informed as we develop our plans.”

– Roger Gale, Sales and Trade Marketing Director
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