Skip to main content


Volume 479: debated on Monday 1 September 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what recent steps he has taken to increase the scope and quality of apprenticeships. (221032)

Expanding provision and raising quality are integral to our ambitious plans set out in World-class Apprenticeships. We are establishing the National Apprenticeship Service from April 2009 to ensure the growth of high quality provision of apprenticeships in England. The service will have responsibility for broadening the flexibilities of the Apprenticeship programme to enable employers to develop new apprenticeship frameworks, and to improve and encourage the range of frameworks available.

The Learning and Skills Council will assess performance against minimum levels of performance for apprenticeships; develop a new apprenticeship blueprint which defines the core elements of an apprenticeship and specific training requirements; and work with the new Learning and Skills Improvement Service to secure continuous improvement in the provision of apprenticeships.

Last week the Government published a draft “Apprenticeships Bill” to underpin and help sustain the improvements in the quality of the programme. This draft Bill will ensure that apprenticeships are a badge of quality skills for young people and adults and for employers. It will drive forward the provision of sufficient apprenticeship places to meet the entitlement for our young people to have an offer of an apprenticeship place by 2013

The Department and the Department for Children, Schools and Families look forward to receiving comments on the draft Bill from hon. and right hon. Members and all those committed to providing high quality skills for people and employers.