High-quality Apprenticeships: Access

Education – in the House of Commons at on 17 April 2023.

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Photo of Rob Roberts Rob Roberts Independent, Delyn

What steps her Department is taking to improve access to high-quality apprenticeships.

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

We are improving quality and supporting more apprentices to successfully complete their programmes. We have moved from frameworks to standards, we have asked all apprenticeship providers to reregister on the register of apprenticeship training providers, Ofsted will inspect all providers by 2025 and we have provided £7.5 million for a provider workforce development programme.

Photo of Rob Roberts Rob Roberts Independent, Delyn

A constituent was in touch with me recently as his daughter has started a level 3 veterinary nursing qualification. There are no places to take that qualification in north Wales, so she registered with a training provider just across the border, in Chester. As she works for a veterinary practice in Colwyn Bay and spends more than 50% of her practical learning time in Wales, she is not eligible for English apprenticeship funding, yet the Welsh Government say that, because the training provider is based in England, she is not eligible for Welsh apprenticeship funding either. Can my right hon. Friend tell me why it is so difficult for the UK and Welsh Governments to work together on such things, so that people such as my constituent do not fall through the cracks?

Photo of Robert Halfon Robert Halfon Minister of State (Education)

My hon. Friend has been a battler for his constituent and has written to me about this case. A 50% rule has been developed to support apprenticeship training for those who spend some of their time working in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. That rule is maintained, but I will continue to support cross-Government collaboration to see if these problems can be sorted out and I am happy to write to the Welsh Government about his constituent’s case.