asked the Paymaster General what is his Department's latest estimate of the number of full-time apprentices currently employed in British manufacturing industry; and what was the comparable number in 1979.
In March 1986, the latest date for which figures are available, there were 64,000 apprentices employed in the manufacturing industries in Great Britain. In May 1979 (there are no figures for March) the figure was 155,000. The estimates do not distinguish between full-time and part-time apprentices. The numbers entering traditional apprenticeships are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a measure of the real level of skills training being undertaken by industry because of both the reform of existing training arrangements and the substantial provision of initial skills training now taking place under YTS.