14. If he will extend eligibility for child benefit and tax credits to the households of young people who are undertaking apprenticeships. (902221)
The Government continue to support apprenticeships by funding 16-to-18 apprenticeships for every employer who wants to offer them and every young person who secures a place, and by promoting the uptake of apprenticeships among employers and implementing reforms to drive up apprenticeship quality. When a young person takes up an apprenticeship, they are classed as in employment with training. From that point, benefits for the young person paid to their parents cease.
I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. The number starting apprenticeships in my constituency has almost doubled from 630 in 2009 to 1,100 last year. Will the Minister join me in congratulating all those apprentices and their employers? Does he share my view that this is one more sign that the Government’s long-term economic plan is working?
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. His experience in Hereford in not unique: the number of apprenticeship starts across the nation has gone up by 82% in the course of the past three years. He is absolutely right to describe that as part of a long-term economic plan.