New Clause 10 — Green deal installation apprenticeships

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 14th September 2011.

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Photo of Gregory Barker Gregory Barker The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change 1:15 pm, 14th September 2011

I have not raised the matter in person, but my officials are working closely with a number of Departments—including, importantly, BIS—on that important element of the green deal proposition. We are satisfied that the OFT will have sufficient resource properly to monitor the green deal, and we will keep that under review as the green deal rolls out.

I will deal now with new clause 10 and the consequential amendment 36. The new clause has been tabled to replace the Opposition’s amendment on green deal apprenticeships, which we accepted in Committee—a great personal victory for Luciana Berger. As I said at the time, it is important that we take expert drafting advice on any amendment to a Bill, however well intentioned it might be. I reiterate that we fully support the creation of apprenticeships in green deal-related trades, and we will be happy to report to Parliament on our progress, as the hon. Lady requested. We believe that the new clause captures the spirit of her amendment; it simply clarifies a couple of technical matters regarding the exact nature of the new obligation. It requires the Secretary of State, before making the first framework regulations, to report to Parliament on the steps that he has taken to encourage green deal installation apprenticeships. I hope that that satisfies the hon. Lady.

Taken together, these are important measures in what will be the most ambitious home improvement programme since the second world war, and I hope that the whole House will support them. There are other amendments in the group that I have yet to address.