I have been having lots of discussions with relevant stakeholders on apprenticeship targets. We must do much better on getting more apprentices into the civil service.
Will my right hon. Friend consider ensuring that all new recruits to the civil service are offered apprenticeships? Will he also make certain that, unless there are specific related reasons, all Government sector employment contracts have at least 5% of employees as apprenticeships before they are offered any contract by Government?
My right hon. Friend makes a very important point. We are currently reviewing, as part of preparation for new procurement legislation, exactly how we can ensure that there is a higher proportion of apprenticeships in contracts that Government allocate as well as making sure that the civil service extends the use of apprenticeship schemes, of which he has been such an effective champion.