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Apprentices

Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what percentage of apprenticeship training providers funded by the Learning and Skills Council were employers in each year since 2001. (254167)

[holding answer 3 February 2009]: The information on the number of employers who are apprenticeship training providers is not available. Table 1 shows the percentage of apprenticeship starts in 2005/06 to 2007/08 at each type of provider.

Many of these organisation types such as ‘Organisation In Business In Its Own Right’ and ‘Other Private Organisation’ could be training providers or employers. It is not possible to specifically identify employers without surveying all Learning and Skills Council partnership teams, and this would not provide wholly accurate information.

Table 1: Percentage of apprenticeship starts in an academic year by provider type, 2005/06 to 2007/08

Provider type

2005/06

2006/07

2007/08

Chamber of Commerce/Trade

1.3

1.1

0.7

Charitable

4.8

4.6

7.2

City Technology College

1

1

1

External Institution

0.1

0.2

1

General FE College incl. Tertiary

22.1

23.3

21.5

Higher Education Organisation

0.2

0.2

0.2

Independent school or college

1

1

1

Local Authority

0.5

0.4

0.1

Local Education Authority (LEA)

1.4

1.4

1.5

Non-Charitable

1

1

1

Organisation in Business in its own right

62.2

59.5

55.3

Other Local Authority

0.3

0.1

0.3

Other Private Organisation

3.2

5.1

6.0

Other Public Organisation

2.3

2.8

6.0

Other Voluntary Organisation

1

1

1

Sixth form college

0.2

0.2

0.1

Special college—Agriculture and horticulture

1.3

1.1

1.0

Special college—Art, design and performing arts

1

1

1

Unknown

1

1

1

Total

100.0

100.0

100.0

Total number of apprenticeship starts

175,000

184,400

224,800

1 Indicates a figure of 0% when rounded.

Notes:

1. Figures may not sum to totals due to rounding.

2. Figures are rounded to the nearest 0.1 per cent.

Source:

WBL ILR

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what arrangements there are for co-ordination between the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Employment Service in their programmes of work. (254371)

There will be a Service Level Agreement between the National Apprenticeship Service and the National Employer Service. This will outline how apprenticeship provision will be managed by the National Employer Service on behalf of the National Apprenticeship Service working with large national employers who need a one stop shop approach. The National Apprenticeship Service will have its own chief executive who will be required to work closely with the Skills Funding Agency's chief executive to deliver apprenticeships as part of a coherent strategy dealing with a wide range of employers.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what assessment he has made of the merits of increasing the proportion of the training costs of adult apprentices paid by employers. (254705)

[holding answer 9 February 2009]: It is a key principle of Government funding of adult learning that there is a shared responsibility on the part of learners, employers and the Government to contribute towards the costs of learning. The Skills Strategy White Paper 21st Century Skills: Realising our Potential (published in July 2003) set out our intention that employers and learners should contribute towards the cost of their course, in light of the returns they derive from learning. Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life Chances (March 2006) confirmed our intention to increase learner and/or employer fee contributions to 50 per cent. by 2010-11 for those not eligible for free provision. Lord Leitch's Review of Skills (December 2006) reaffirmed the importance for a shared responsibility to invest in skills with employers and learners asked to contribute most where they see the greatest private returns. We are therefore increasing private fee contributions for both employers and learners from 42.5 per cent. in 2008-09, to 47.5 per cent. for 2009-10 and 50 per cent. for 2010-11.

Apprenticeship funding rates for adults therefore are lower than rates for young people aged 16-18, with employers expected to contribute to the total cost of an adult apprenticeship framework. Employer contributions may be in cash to the training provider or in kind through supporting the delivery of the training activity.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he is taking to encourage the uptake of part-time apprenticeships. (256833)

Apprenticeship frameworks are designed to meet both the skills needs of employers and individuals. Like employment in general there is no presumption that they be full-time or part-time although custom and practice will differ between employers and across sectors. Any employee should be able to apply for an apprenticeship irrespective of whether they work full or part-time and we are making special efforts to break down gender or race stereotypes in apprenticeships. Our aim is to encourage the take-up of apprenticeships. The Government are committed to rebuilding apprenticeships. Since 1997 we have witnessed a renaissance in apprenticeships from a low point of 65,000 to a record 225,000 apprenticeship starts in 2007-08. Completion rates are also at a record high with 64 per cent. successfully completing an apprenticeship—up from 27 per cent. in 1997. A remarkable achievement.