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Clause 2

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:30 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 5:30 pm, 5th February 2008

There are fewer apprenticeships in central London than there are in Leeds, as the Under-Secretary will know. I agree with him about those new industries, and he is right to emphasise that because, too often, apprenticeships are seen as old-fashioned or to do with older industries, but many are not. The House of Lords Committee on Economic Affairs report on apprenticeships states, “Many young people unfitted to start apprenticeship”. Does the Under-Secretary share my concern about that? The report says:

“some 300,000 16—19 year olds are unable to access training or any worthwhile employment as a result of a lack of basic skills”.

Getting the numbers right is about getting apprenticeships right, but surely it is also about getting the fit between people who are capable of studying for apprenticeships and what they are likely to study.