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Apprentices: Immigration

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment his Department has made of the effect of immigration on the availability of training opportunities and apprenticeships to British workers. (199853)

The Government are committed to up-skilling British workers to provide them with the skills required in a competitive labour market. Migrant workers from outside the European Union, not ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years, are not eligible to Government funded training places such as apprenticeships. Apprenticeship starts have increased from 65,000 in 1996/97 to 180,000 in 2006/07. They are projected to grow to almost 210,000 by 2010/11. By 2013, we will ensure that an apprenticeship is available to all qualified young people. Train to Gain has engaged over 77,000 employers with more then 363,000 workers starting learning programmes. We have ambitious plans to expand Train to Gain with increased funding from around £520 million this year to over £1 billion in 2010.