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Apprentices: Chelmsford

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 10 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking in West Chelmsford constituency to increase the number of apprenticeships. (254751)

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Ribble Valley (Mr. Evans) on 27 January 2009, Official Report, column 448W. We are taking a wide range of steps to encourage more people to take up apprenticeships and to encourage more employers to offer high quality places both in West Chelmsford and across the rest of England. On the 4 February we introduced our Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill, including provisions to an entitlement to an apprenticeship place for all suitably qualified young people from 2013.

The Government are committed to apprenticeships and 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.