By The content team News Virgin Media to hire 1000 new apprentices 18 Feb 2015 Apprenticeships, learning on the job whilst earning a wage, have become a hot topic. Labour leader Ed Miliband has recently pledged to create 80,000 new apprenticeships a year for school leavers as part of his election manifesto, whilst Barclays Bank have just announced a scheme to hire over-50s apprentices in finance roles. Now Virgin Media have pledged to create 1000 new apprenticeships as part of a project to upgrade its fibre optic network and broadband infrastructure. The project is part of a five year plan which will cost £3 billion and will create a total of 6000 new jobs in the UK as the firm plans to increase its customer base. Virgin Media spokesperson Dana Hashem said, “1000 apprentices will be trained at our facility in Eagle Court, Birmingham. They will be trained for a variety of roles, including technicians, planners and network engineers.” Prime Minister David Cameron supports the move saying, “These 6000 new jobs and apprenticeships will mean financial security and economic peace of mind for thousands more hard-working families across the country. This additional private investment will create more opportunities for people and businesses, further boosting our digital economy and helping secure a brighter future for Britain.” Skills minister Nick Boles has reinforced the message urging more employers to take on apprentices and considers apprenticeships a credible alternative to university. In a recent interview the minister said, “We need a position where every young person has a choice between two legitimate, respected routes: apprentices or university. I think we are getting there, but there’s a historical misconception between some parents and teachers. But this is beginning to shift.” “The idea university is for white collar jobs and apprenticeships for blue collar jobs is not true.” The content team are the owners of AAT Comment.