The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has been responsible for promoting apprenticeships since it came into existence in April 2001.
Since 1997 we have witnessed a renaissance in apprenticeships from a low point of 64,000 with only 27 per cent. completions to last year's record high of 225,000 with 64 per cent. completions, a remarkable achievement This shows the huge demand for apprenticeships which is why we are examining every possible opportunity to create more apprenticeships which offer hope and real career opportunities for young people and adults.
The LSC plan to spend £2,845,439 nationally in 2008-09 on media advertising (excluding VAT and Central Office of Information fees). Planned advertising spend at regional level is not readily available. The national advertising campaign fronted by Sir Alan Sugar will run throughout February and March. I am pleased that Sir Alan has offered his time free of charge to support the Apprenticeships campaign. Planned advertising spend for 2009-10 has not yet been confirmed.
The Department and the Department of Children, Schools and Families have allocated funds to the LSC for marketing. The Department has no plans to spend money directly on advertising apprenticeships in 2008-09 and 2009-10.