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Apprentices: West Midlands

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department has taken in Staffordshire and the West Midlands to increase the number of apprenticeships. (193607)

West Midlands Learning and Skills Council works with employers across the region to increase the number of people starting and completing Apprenticeships. It plans 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 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.