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Volume 478: debated on Thursday 26 June 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to ensure the quality of apprenticeships for young people and adults. (213863)

Raising quality is integral to our ambitious plans set out in “World-Class Apprenticeships”. We are establishing the National Apprenticeship Service from April 2009 to ensure the provision of high quality apprenticeships in England. It will have responsibility for building on the current excellent completion rate of 63 per cent. which has risen from 24 per cent. in 2001/02. In the meantime, the Learning and Skills Council is progressing with its work to agree minimum levels of performance for apprenticeships; developing a new blueprint which clearly defines the core elements of an apprenticeship and specific training requirements; and working with the new Learning and Skills Improvement Service to secure continuous improvement in the provision of apprenticeships.