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Education and Training (Welfare of Children) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:23 pm on 13th March 2020.

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Photo of Mary Foy Mary Foy Labour, City of Durham 1:23 pm, 13th March 2020

I thank my hon. Friend for making an important point. I know from a recent visit to New College that it takes the mental health of its students very seriously indeed. However, not all young people in my constituency pursue further education through New College. Others choose to do an apprenticeship delivered by a training provider. In the last academic year, 50 students under the age of 19 started an apprenticeship in my constituency. Those apprentices could be training for a career in health and social care, supported by Northern Care Training, an independent provider. They could also be working towards a career as a plumber with South West Durham Training, another independent provider. I was concerned to find out that legal safeguarding duties do not apply to apprentices when their training is delivered by independent providers in the same way as they do for those at an FE college such as New College. While safeguarding requirements are a condition of independent providers’ funding, those providers’ apprentices are not protected by the law in the same way. That is clearly wrong and something must be done about it. It is vital to protect the welfare of our constituents and that is why it is so important that the Bill passes.