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Clause 2

Part of Education and Skills Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 6:00 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) 6:00 pm, 5th February 2008

The hon. Gentleman will know that in the apprenticeship review, we advocated group training associations. However, this goes back to my previous point about how we ensure quality while creating a system that is attractive for employers. We might debate that later, because the hon. Gentleman has tabled amendments about the local contract of employment. He will know that engagement in an apprenticeship is key for certain SMEs—two or three-man businesses in various sectors, from the creative industries to a group of electricians or plumbers—but that they find it difficult to undertake the core business of liaison with the Learning And Skills Council and the bureaucracy necessary to meet the requirements of the legislation. For that reason, we support the training associations. However, I hope that the hon. Gentleman accepts that there must be flexibility in the system