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Construction: Apprentices

Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with (a) the Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families and (b) representatives of the engineering construction industry on increasing the number of young people pursuing careers in that sector. (289924)

Like other engineering-related sectors, the engineering construction industry offers attractive career opportunities, but shares challenges in attracting employees for the future. In this regard, there are ongoing discussions at ministerial, and official levels on issues that directly impact on engineering construction. A programme of actions is being taken forward by Government, in conjunction with the sector skills councils and the Engineering Construction Industry Training Board, to address these matters. The Diploma in Construction and the Built Environment, and the Diploma in Engineering, were launched in September 2008, with the aim of introducing young people to the world of working in these industries. This Government are also committed to a significant growth in apprenticeships. That is why funding for apprentices has been increased by almost a quarter since 2007/08 to over £1 billion in 2009/10.