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Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many apprenticeship places there are; how many are filled; what the equivalent figures were in 2002; and what he expects them to be in 2012. (154091)

The following table shows the total number of apprenticeship starts in 2001-02 and 2005-06, and the latest information for 2006-07.

Apprenticeship starts

Advanced apprenticeship starts










1 These figures are based on latest management information. Comparable official statistics for 2006-07 will be published in the Statistical First Release “Further Education, Work-Based Learning, Train to Gain and Adult and Community Learning—Learner Numbers in England 2006/07. Note: Numbers have been rounded to the nearest 100. Source: Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Work Based Learning (WBL) Individualised Learner Record (ILR).

The LSC’s ILR is a census of activity capturing provision that learners enrol on and not the number of places that are available to learners. The LSG will fund what young people want to study and will work to ensure sufficient capacity is in place to meet the demand.

We want to continue the expansion of apprenticeships so that by 2013 every suitably qualified young person will be able to take up a place on the programme.

We are working with the LSC to promote apprenticeships to employers of all sizes and so increase their take-up. Many employers are already on board with 130,000 offering apprenticeships in England with over 180 apprenticeships available across more than 80 industry sectors.

We have increased the completion rate to 59 per cent. and rising—up from only 24 per cent. five years ago. We plan to increase this further in the next three years to match that of other top competitors. The Government are working with the LSC and key partners to deliver provider incentives, foster provider collaboration, improve staff training, and develop with Sector Skills Councils guidance for individual sectors.

Diplomas will also provide clear progression routes into apprenticeships and, indeed, contain apprenticeship components within their content where specified by the Diploma Development Partnerships.

We are also building stronger links with higher education to ensure that apprentices who have the ambition and capacity to do so can enter higher education.