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Apprentices: Milton Keynes

Volume 498: debated on Tuesday 27 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has to extend the apprenticeship schemes in operation in Milton Keynes, with particular reference to the scheme operated by ABB Robotics; and if he will make a statement. (295756)

The development of high level technician skills in industry is one of our key priorities in responding to the economic downturn. The engineering apprenticeship programme operated by ABB Robotics UK in conjunction with Milton Keynes college is the type of high quality investment in emerging technologies we wish to encourage and the reason why we are continuing to expand our investment in apprenticeships. We expect to invest over £1 billion this year, and last week we published provisional data for 2008-09 showing 234,000 people started an apprenticeship—a record number.

The National Apprenticeships Service is managing plans to promote and expand apprenticeships and will work with companies such as ABB to develop and support their skills investment.