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Volume 609: debated on Tuesday 3 May 2016

10. What steps the Government are taking to increase take-up of apprenticeships among (a) people with disabilities, (b) care leavers and (c) other disadvantaged groups. (904772)

We want to ensure that apprenticeships are accessible to the widest possible range of people. We are promoting reasonable adjustments for disabled learners and fully funding apprenticeship training for young people aged 19 to 24 with an education, health and care plan and for care leavers up to the age of 24.

As the Government already have targets to increase the proportion of black and minority ethnic apprenticeships by 20%, does the Minister not agree that they should do the same for people with disabilities and for care leavers?

I agree that we should do all that we can, and we have made it a huge priority to help more individuals with learning difficulties and disabilities to take up apprenticeships. We have done this by providing guidance for individuals and working with employers to help them better to understand what more we can do. Our apprenticeship revolution will leave no one behind.

21. Is the Secretary of State aware that the Construction Industry Training Board, which is based in Bircham Newton in my constituency, has been excellent at encouraging people with disabilities to take up apprenticeships? Can he confirm that when the CITB’s existing levy is merged with the apprenticeship levy, it will still have sufficient funding to carry on with its excellent programmes? Will he come up to Bircham Newton to visit the CITB at some stage during his tenure? (904784)

My hon. Friend is absolutely right to raise the good work of the CITB in this regard, and when the apprenticeship levy is introduced from April 2017, we can make sure that it continues to have the funding available to do the same kind of work.