Nick Clegg will announce Government grants to create and protect 275 jobs at two engineering firms in the North East

Government grants protect 275 jobs in North East

Grants from the government's regional growth fund will help create and protect 275 jobs at two firms in the North East.

Nick Clegg will announce today that CAV Aerospace in Durham, which manufactures aircraft components such as ice protection systems, will receive £1.4m which, with £8.2m of its own investment, will generate 78 jobs and keep another 105.

The Deputy Prime Minister will also announce a £750,000 grant to boost a £3.2m investment by the city's Greencroft Bottling in new production lines and IT systems, on a visit to the region.

Clegg is using the tour of several regional businesses to promote a Liberal Democrat job-creation push which includes a target of doubling the number of firms offering apprenticeships.

He said the government needs to be "more ambitious" for young people as he claimed credit for his party's role within the Tory-led coalition administration in "encouraging employment".

MPs and local parties have been tasked with highlighting the Lib Dem contribution at "action days" across the country.

Launching the party's A Million Jobs For A Stronger Economy campaign, Clegg said: "Since the Liberal Democrats came into government in 2010, we've helped British businesses create more than a million jobs. Now we want to help them create a million more.

"That will mean an unrelenting focus from government for the next two years. The country is on a jobs mission and I'm determined the Liberal Democrats will lead it."

The government has already introduced many successful policies, he said, "but we need to do more, starting with a major apprenticeships drive".

Clegg said: "More and more young people are learning the skills they need for well-paid careers, not just in a classroom or lecture theatre but in the office or on the shop floor, and they're getting paid for it.

"Vince Cable and I made this a priority when we came into office and the coalition is investing record sums in helping firms hire and train apprentices. We're also cutting red tape so it's easier for smaller firms to take people on.

"But there are still firms and young people missing out. We have nearly five million businesses in the UK but little over 100,000 currently offer apprenticeships. We need to be more ambitious; I want to see that number double to 200,000.

"Over time, I want to see apprenticeships viewed as a much more mainstream route to work. They're a crucial building block for the stronger economy and fairer society we all seek, enabling everyone to get on in life."

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