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Clause 1

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:00 pm on 31st January 2008.

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Photo of Jim Knight Jim Knight Minister of State (Schools and Learners), Department for Children, Schools and Families, Minister of State (Department for Children, Schools and Families) (Schools and Learners) 2:00 pm, 31st January 2008

Not all of them, but some. There was reference to Alison Wolf’s analysis. For the record, I repeat what I said in evidence: a wide range of qualifications at level 2 had substantial returns for lower-achieving school leavers. I refer to research by Jenkins et al in 2007: BTECs have a return of about 13 per cent., City and Guilds crafts of about 5 to 7 per cent., RSA diplomas of about 17 per cent., BTECs level 3 of about 16 to 17 per cent., and so on. It is worth saying that there are excellent wage returns to advanced apprenticeships at level 3, but there are equally good returns on apprenticeships generally.

I mentioned the speech by my hon. Friend the Member for Llanelli, who made the case for compulsion extremely well, particularly when she talked about raising expectations. The hon. Member for Bognor Regis and Littlehampton, in an intervention, said that the duty would be a burden on vulnerable people. If people are vulnerable and have support needs, those needs would be met rather than enforcement action being taken. I do not regard the duty as a burden on vulnerable people. It is a burden on those who want to stay under the duvet and have no good reason for not getting up and getting on with things, but not on vulnerable people.