Apprenticeships play an integral role in our economy. They increase the skill set of the workforce and make Wales a more attractive place with which to do business.
The skills developed by an apprentice are skills for life. This makes an apprenticeship programme as valued as a place at a top university, and I want people to be aware of this.
The programme continues to support young people, the group that has been worst hit by the recession. Apprenticeship programmes keep them engaged in education, employment and training and make sure we are maximising their opportunities for employment.
In November, the Welsh Government agreed an additional £20m for apprenticeships for 2013-14 and £20m for 2014-15.
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Rain quickly clearing this evening with blustery, locally heavy, showers following, merging at times into longer spells of rain.
After a chilly start it will be a blustery day with some decent sunny spells for most and isolated, locally heavy, showers.
Mosques from across Wales are taking part in an open day today. Their aim is to let the public discover more about the Islamic faith.