During the election I made a pledge that I would take on an apprentice if I became your MP so I'm really pleased to introduce you to Nic who joined the team just before Christmas.
I'm obsessed by making sure young people get the best start in life and a smooth transition from education and into a career. Public services need to get it right for everyone the first time around, but especially for young people. That's why I chair the all-party committee on further education in parliament and work very closely with the council in Brighton and Hove.
Our council is creating 1,000 apprenticeships. It has the most ambitious plans to end long-term youth unemployment in the whole country, something we should all be proud of - I certainly am. Councillor Tom Berwick kicked off this work and did so brilliantly and it's now being championed by Cllr Dan Chapman who is putting his heart and soul into it. I'll do anything to support people to make this dream a reality in our city.
I've been challenging the government on apprenticeships too. They have promised to create 3 million but I want to make sure more effort goes into quality not just quantity, otherwise the value of apprenticeships will be undermined. I've also challenged them to change the target to apprenticeship finishes, not starts.
So before many of you rightly challenge me, let me assure you that Nick is doing a Level 3 apprenticeship. And because I benefit so much from his contribution, and the basic pay for apprentices is so low, I'm topping up his salary to the living wage so he has the chance to enjoy life a little and save as well as just get by.
Before joining the team Nic was working in a call centre locally. Now he's doing a business administration apprenticeship with me and as well as the formal training we're making sure he benefits from all of the development opportunities you get in a busy office like mine that enjoys 450 emails most days, dozens of letters, calls, and people popping in to ask for help or expressing an opinion.
We all totally love having Nic around and I can promise you that getting an apprentice for your workplace will be brilliant too. If you want to look into it drop me a message or email and I'll let you know how to do it, it's really easy. All the best, Peter