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Clause 2

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 5:45 pm on 5th February 2008.

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Photo of David Lammy David Lammy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) (Skills) 5:45 pm, 5th February 2008

Does the hon. Gentleman accept that the review points to a new national service for apprenticeships, but with a local field force that can interact locally and with the regions? Does he also recognise that, for the first time in this country, a new group of students will have a matching service similar to that provided for another group of students, who have been able to apply for university admission through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service and previously the Universities Central Council on Admissions? It will go some way towards meeting employers’ needs, as it will provide brand integrity, identify local needs and enable young people to connect with employers.

The hon. Gentleman cannot have it both ways. He cannot say that he wants us to be responsive to employers, but then ask us to raise the technical certificate and other things that respond precisely to what employers tell us will make the system work better and create greater numbers of apprenticeships. I remind him that there is an apprenticeship clause later in the Bill, and I urge him to reflect further on whether he wants to press the amendment to a vote.