UNISON has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it is to invest an extra £140 million in apprentice schemes.

The UK’s largest public sector said it was the right move at the right time to fund an additional 35,000 apprentices.

Dave Prentis, UNISON General Secretary, said: “This funding is desperately needed during the economic downturn and will greatly improve the skills pool.

“It is vital to invest in apprenticeships in the public sector, as well as the private sector.

“This funding will go a long way towards creating job opportunities.

“The Conservatives have failed dismally in doing anything to help the next generation of workers and their plans could signal future cuts in higher education and skills training.”