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Work And Community-Based Learning

Volume 404: debated on Monday 28 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures he plans to introduce to encourage (a) work-based learning and (b) community-based learning. [108268]

Modern Apprenticeships (MA) provide young people in England with quality work-based learning in craft, supervisory and technician skills. We and the Learning and Skills Council are implementing Modern Apprenticeship Advisory Committee recommendations to ensure the highest standards and to encourage take-up by employers and young people. We have adopted a challenging Public Service Agreement (PSA) target for MA entrants by 2004–28 per cent. of young people to begin an MA by the age of 22. A new Modern Apprenticeship Task Force is now taking a key role in promoting MA to employers and thereby contributing to increased take-up.From August this year, the Government is introducing Entry to Employment (E2E), a work-based programme for those young people not yet ready or able to enter a Modern Apprenticeship. It will enable young people to progress on to Foundation Modern Apprenticeships, sustained employment or further vocational learning opportunities.The Government continues to encourage community-based learning. For example, in my speech at NIACE's Autumn Annual Conference on 10 December I reaffirmed my commitment to the breadth of purpose of adult and community learning, from fostering social inclusion to learning for leisure.In June, we will be publishing the Skills Strategy and Delivery Plan, setting out a wide ranging agenda for raising skill levels amongst young people and adults to meet employers' skill needs.