Secondary Class 1 contributions: apprentices under 25

Part of Living Wage (Reporting) – in the House of Commons at 1:26 pm on 3rd February 2015.

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Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 1:26 pm, 3rd February 2015

I welcome the hon. Lady’s support for the measures. It is worth noting the considerable progress made on apprenticeships under this Government. We have created 2 million apprenticeships in this Parliament, which is giving young people the skills they need to succeed in the global race and get on in life. That is significant progress—progress on the number of apprenticeships has been considerably faster than was previously expected. For example, the previous Prime Minister, Mr Brown, said in 2008 that he intended to have 90,000 more young people taking part in apprenticeships by 2013. He said that, together with opportunities for those in their 20s and older, that would mean 220,000 people starting an apprenticeship each year overall. In 2011-12, 520,000 people started an apprenticeship, so we can see that there has been dramatic progress. The measure helps us to pursue that policy yet further.