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Volume 488: debated on Wednesday 25 February 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with reference to the answer of 2 June 2008, Official Report, column 769W, on apprentices, what steps are being taken to increase the number of apprentices employed by his Department. (251737)

In our response of 2 June 2008 we were not able to state how many apprentices we had as responsibility was devolved to each business area. We have since established a corporate apprenticeship offer for BERR staff who do not have degrees.

BERR is promoting a new apprenticeship offer for staff in business administration, customer service, information technology, team leadership and management. Awareness sessions are running for staff and their managers throughout February, with the first programmes starting in April. Our aim is to recruit 20 apprentices at either level 2 or level 3 during the first year, and currently have one member of staff on the apprenticeship pathfinder.

We are working together with our agencies to help them promote apprenticeships for their staff. Currently Companies House has a 61 staff studying for apprenticeships (35 at level 2 and 26 at level 3).