Part of Business, Innovation and Skills – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 17th February 2011.

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Photo of John Denham John Denham Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 10:30 am, 17th February 2011

Yesterday, I met a number of apprentices at the excellent Fosters bakery in Barnsley, and we welcome any moves to build on Labour's record, which rescued apprenticeships from 65,000 starts in 1997 to 279,000 last year. Will the Minister confirm four simple facts? Will he confirm that, at a time of rising youth unemployment, this Government have dropped Labour's guarantee of an apprenticeship for every young person who wants one? Will he confirm that, at a time of rising adult unemployment, this Government plan to cut the total number of adults who get publicly funded training by 500,000 a year? Will he confirm that his Government have dropped Labour's policy of saying that those who get public money for social housing must provide construction apprenticeships? And will he confirm that he now plans to make adult apprentices pay between £5,000 and £9,000 for the right to do an apprenticeship?