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Volume 502: debated on Wednesday 16 December 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many apprentices have lost a placement in the last 12 months for which figures are available. (306565)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave to him on 5 November 2009, Official Report, column 1232W, when I explained that data about the number of apprentices made redundant are not currently available. We have put in place for this academic year, from 1 August, arrangements to record the number of apprentices who are made redundant. We expect these data to be available from early in 2010.

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the availability of work placements for Level 3 apprenticeships. (306566)

“Our Skills for Growth—the National Skills Strategy” (November 2009) signalled our intention to significantly expand the number of advanced apprenticeships. Not only is this critical to the needs of the economy, it also reflects employer demand. Numbers are now steadily increasing: There were 78,700 starts (provisional) at advanced level in 2008/09 (34 per cent. of all apprenticeship starts), up from 73,000 (32 per cent.) in 2007/08.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) will have an important role in helping us drive forward our ambitions for more skilled technician apprenticeship opportunities and stimulate employer demand. NAS is already working with employers and training providers, supported by marketing and communications activity, to ensure awareness of the values and benefits of training at technician level.