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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

When we have a longer debate about apprenticeships, we can explore some of those issues further, and I am sure that my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary of State looks forward to doing so. However, as far as I recall, the LSC arrangement includes the notion that there will be a discrete apprenticeship service, which will work with local employment partnerships in the delivery of apprenticeships and in the brokering with employers that is required.

I attended the launch of the initiative earlier this week—I think that it was on Monday morning—at the QEII conference centre with a range of employers, led by the chairman of BT. There was a very warm welcome from those employers for the proposals, and I look forward to the expansion of apprenticeships heralded at that important conference, which was addressed by the Prime Minister. In respect of information, advice and guidance, I would again quote evidence that we received from the Association of Colleges, which said:

“The provisions in the Bill...are the right way forward...The provisions in the Bill will certainly aid the opportunities of young people to receive that information on an impartial basis.”——[Official Report, Education and Skills Public Bill Committee, 22 January 2008; c. 28, Q67.]

The Association of School and College Leaders said:

“If you take the new standards for individual advice and guidance—the quality standards—they provide a really strong framework for high-quality guidance within school. We really support what is in the Bill. If a school or a college were to audit their provision, going through these quality standards, and a local authority were to use the standards as an auditing tool, the quality of careers guidance would be very good indeed.”——[Official Report, Education and Skills Public Bill Committee, 22 January 2008; c. 66, Q164.]