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Apprentices: West Midlands

Volume 472: debated on Wednesday 20 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government plan to take to increase the number of apprenticeships in the west midlands. (183841)

West Midlands Learning and Skills Council plan to increase apprenticeships by around 4 per cent. in 2008-09. Projections are for 12,550 apprenticeship starts with 8,415 completions and a further 5,620 advanced apprenticeship starts with 3,385 completions in 2008-09. The overall completion rate will be 65 per cent. which represents a rise of 3 per cent. on the projected 2007-08 level The plans to increase apprenticeship numbers reflect our ambitions for growth outlined in the recent report of the ‘Apprenticeship Review—World-class Apprenticeships: Unlocking Talent, Building Skills for All’, published on 28 January 2008.

The increase in apprenticeships in the west midlands will be achieved by re-directing funding to high performing providers, introducing the apprenticeship matching service, developing closer employer engagement, removing support for poorly performing provision and introducing new opportunities for young people to prepare to undertake an apprenticeship.