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Apprenticeships

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

15. To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to improve the advice on apprenticeships available to young people. (187383)

My RHF, the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families, has announced a range of steps in his “Children's Plan” to improve the quality of advice to young people. In addition, “World-Class Apprenticeships” contains measures specifically focused on apprenticeships, including plans to legislate to require schools to provide comprehensive information on apprenticeships to all their pupils.

16. To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to encourage small businesses in Denton and Reddish constituency to provide apprenticeships. (187384)

As I explained in an earlier answer to my hon. Friend the Member for Calder Valley (Chris McCafferty), the report of the apprenticeship review sets out a wide range of measures to expand apprenticeships. Small business will particularly benefit from our plans to extend wage subsidies to them so that they can more easily recruit apprentices.

22. To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the drop-out rate was from Government-sponsored apprenticeships in each of the last three years. (187390)

The proportion of those who complete the Apprenticeship Framework has grown dramatically over the last three years. In 2004/05 the figure was 40 per cent.; in 2005/06 it was 53 per cent. and in 2006/07 it had risen to 63 per cent. This shows the ongoing improving status and quality of apprenticeships. The proportion who do not complete the apprenticeship is at an all-time low, and continues to fall.

24. To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage employers to participate in the apprenticeship programme. (187392)

“World-Class Apprenticeships” sets out a range of measures to encourage many more employers to expand their apprenticeship numbers and to join the programme. These include new financial incentives; a national matching service; and new flexibilities so that employers can bring their own qualifications into apprenticeship frameworks.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government is taking to increase the number of adult apprenticeships. (187381)

We recently announced that for the first time, funding will be targeted specifically at expanding apprenticeships for adults aged over 25. This will mean 30,000 such apprenticeships costing £90 million over the next three years.