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Volume 476: debated on Monday 2 June 2008

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission how many (a) apprenticeships and (b) advanced apprenticeships there were in the House of Commons in the most recent year for which figures are available. (206798)

The House at present has three full-time advanced apprentices in the Craft Team within the Facilities Department. Currently, one apprentice (hot-water fitter) is working on NVQ level 3 and the two others (carpenter/joiners) are working on NVQ level 2.

For the past five years the House has also run a 'pre-apprenticeship scheme' sponsored by Mr. Speaker. This scheme offers students from Southwark, an opportunity to spend one day per week for one school year in a work area of their choice. The scheme is being further developed for October 2008 so that the students who come to the House—around 10 to 12 per year—will spend two years here rather than one and will complete the first level of a modern apprenticeship.