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Apprentices

Volume 479: debated on Thursday 17 July 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the opportunities for people completing apprenticeships to achieve higher education qualifications; and if he will make a statement. (219127)

In World-class Apprenticeships we highlighted the need for clear progression routes for apprenticeships to maximise the apprenticeship experience, including higher education. Sector Skills Councils are developing a strategy for Level 4 Apprenticeships, enabling progression to higher education, including Foundation Degrees. They are mapping all apprenticeship frameworks to see where Level 4 apprenticeships may be required. Arrangements are already in place for apprentices who complete an engineering or e-skills apprenticeship to have their learning recognised through UCAS points to progress to higher education. A further eight frameworks are expected to be recognised by 2010.

We expect the number of opportunities to progress to higher education to rise once the planned mapping has been completed and the responsibility for maintaining progress will lie with the new National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) when it is operational in April 2009.