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Apprenticeship Levy — [Caroline Nokes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester 2:30 pm, 11th February 2020

I beg to move,

That this House
has considered the effectiveness of the apprenticeship levy.

It is almost exactly 10 years since I secured my first debate, which was on apprenticeships, in this very Chamber. Ten years on from the arrival of the new coalition Government, with that a huge and welcome emphasis on apprenticeships, and three years on from the introduction of the apprenticeship levy, today’s debate is a good opportunity to review how the levy was introduced, what it aimed to achieve and how the levy process has gone so far.

However, let me first go back to 2010 as a starting point. At that time, I and various colleagues, including my right hon. Friend Robert Halfon, who is beside me today, were desperately keen to recognise the value of apprenticeships, to restore their role in our nation as a key motivator and opportunity for social mobility, to improve the opportunities for our manufacturers, and to introduce apprenticeships into many of the service sectors where they did not then exist. We were looking for a renaissance of apprenticeships, and a boosting and strengthening of them, and we did that, broadly, in the first five years of the Government that was formed in 2010. Then there was the introduction of the levy.