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Employment: Young People

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department is taking to increase the number of people under 18 years old in employment in (a) Tameside, (b) Stockport and (c) Greater Manchester. (277500)

I have been asked to reply.

We are determined to ensure that as many young people as possible continue their learning beyond the age of 16 to get the qualifications and experience they need to make a successful transition into employment in an increasingly competitive labour market. Many will continue their learning in the workplace through an apprenticeship or work based learning programme.

All 16 and 17-year-olds will be offered a suitable place in education or training under the September Guarantee. The additional investment announced in Budget 2009, together with the plans that we recently announced to make available an additional 17,500 apprenticeship places for 16 to 18-year-olds, mean that we are now investing over £6.8 billion in 16-18 education and training, providing a record level of more than 1,550,000 learning places. Schools, colleges and Connexions services will give young people across Greater Manchester the advice and support they need to find a suitable opportunity in education, employment or training.