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Apprentices: West Midlands

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to increase the number of apprenticeships in (a) Staffordshire and (b) the West Midlands. (309441)

We are taking a wide range of measures to increase the number of people taking up an apprenticeship and to encourage more employers to offer high quality places. We have increased spending to over £1 billion in 2009-10. Apprenticeship starts in Staffordshire increased from 3,800 in 2003/04, to 4,600 in 2008/09 and in the west midlands increased from 22,200 to 27,800 over the same period. Nationally, apprenticeship starts increased from 65,000 in 1996/97 to a record 240,000 in 2008/09.

The National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) has responsibility for the delivery of apprenticeships and provides a single point of contact for employers and apprentices, and across the west midlands is working with employers to increase the number of people starting and completing apprenticeships.