The civil service will launch its new apprenticeship strategy next year. The first phase will have delivered 30,000 apprenticeships by next April, but going forward I want to focus not just on numbers, but on the quality of training on offer, so that Departments get much better at growing their own talent and plugging skills gaps. To that end, we recently published the curriculum and campus for Government skills, with the goal of setting the highest standard in vocational training for all civil servants, including apprentices.
As it is National Apprenticeship Week, will she please explain to the House what is being done to make the civil service apprenticeship scheme accessible to all, including my constituents in Meriden, who she will find are some of the most talented and hard-working in the whole country?
I commend my hon. Friend on his promotion of his constituents. I have spoken previously about our ambitions to move more and more civil service roles, including apprenticeships, out of London and to the regions. That programme is moving apace, but we have already created 1,911 apprenticeships in the west midlands over the past five years. I encourage the good people of Meriden to apply for some of the live vacancies that are on offer right now. We have also got a new relationship with the Birmingham local enterprise partnership that works with schools and colleges across the west midlands to help talented, dynamic people to understand just what an exciting and fulfilling career they could have in the civil service.