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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

I have set out my belief that the galvanising effect is important, but so is cultural change or the mind shift, as it was described by Paul Head in his evidence. The mindset difference is just as important in creating the necessary change to motivate the 10 per cent. of young people whom we are particularly keen to motivate.

The hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings gave a typically robust and extensive oration. He mentioned many things to which I have already responded. In response to his point that apprenticeships are often not close enough to employers—I am sure that that is a point that he will repeat on a few occasions to the Committee and I am equally sure that both the Under-Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills, my hon. Friend the Member for Tottenham and I will have cause to repeat our responses to him—may I point out that there are more than 130,000 employers offering apprenticeship places in more than 180 different types of businesses at the moment? All of the existing 240,000 apprenticeships are work-based. We think that there is a role for programme-led apprenticeships, but they will not count towards our targets until the young person takes up a place with an employer. I hope that that is some comfort to the hon. Gentleman. He also made some important points about information, advice and guidance.