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Volume 495: debated on Tuesday 30 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families what the minimum (a) number of hours a week for an apprenticeship and (b) number of guided learning hours for an apprenticeship framework will be for apprentices aged 16 and 17 following the raising of the age of participation in education or training to 18. (283050)

At present, there is no minimum number of hours a week for an apprenticeship. The minimum number of hours spent each week on an apprenticeship is a matter for agreement between employer and apprentice.

The Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Bill which is currently before Parliament would give the Secretary of State the power to bring forward regulations through a Specification of Apprenticeship Standards for England to set out the minimum requirements for all apprenticeship frameworks delivered in England. We expect these regulations to include a requirement that all frameworks must include a minimum of 280 guided learning hours per year. Subject to the will of Parliament, this would ensure that all apprentices aged 16 and 17 would benefit from the minimum level of learning guided learning required to be considered as being engaged in education and training.