Labour are looking to give apprenticeships a “rocket boost” after the number of starts in Brighton and Hove fell to a five year low.

Brighton and Hove City Council’s administration is to launch a city employer skills task force in a bid to turnaround the year-on-year decline in city apprenticeships.

Children, young people and skills committee chairman Tom Bewick described the current situation as “pretty dire” as the city lagged behind the similar-sized cities of Plymouth, Coventry and Sunderland.

The councillor said the apprenticeship drive was part of his party’s attempts to deliver on their manifesto pledge to eradicate youth unemployment in the city.

Skills Estimates for 2014/15 indicate that Brighton and Hove will fail to create 1,000 apprenticeship starts for the first time since 2009/10 with numbers continuing a downward spiral from 1,698 in 2012/13 to 1,351 in 2013/14.

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