Virtual skills academy set to help youngsters

MP Yvette Cooper at the launch of a new skills academy at Ardagh Glass, Knottingley
MP Yvette Cooper at the launch of a new skills academy at Ardagh Glass, Knottingley
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A glass firm in Knottingley is helping youngsters get into the job market with the launch of a new virtual skills academy.

The Express reported last week that long term youth unemployment in the district has risen by up to 500 per cent in the last 12 months.

Ardagh Glass, on Headlands Lane, together with British Glass, the trade group for the industry, has set up the Glass Academy to try to help young people back into work.

The academy aims to expand the number of apprentices trained in the glass industry by setting up new courses specifically for people who are interested in the sector.

Yvette Cooper, MP for Pontefract and Castleford, said: “We really need more apprenticeships for young people, so it’s great to see a local company working with others to develop its workforce and take on more apprentices.

“It’s vital for the future of British manufacturing that we have the skills needed in the future to compete with other countries which is why I’m so pleased that Ardagh will be able to take on more apprentices through the Glass Academy.”

British Glass said the academy had been set up to ensure the country could compete in the international glass market.

Julie Watson, plant director at Ardagh, said: “The Glass Academy will enable us to broaden and strengthen the apprentice schemes which we can offer.”

The glass industry employs around 6,000 people across the country.