Innovation, Universities and Skills written question – answered on 28th January 2009.

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Photo of David Willetts David Willetts Shadow Minister (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many apprentices there were in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08.

Photo of Siôn Simon Siôn Simon Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills

In the 2006-07 academic year, there were 184,400 apprenticeship starts. The number of apprenticeship starts in 2007-08 was 224,800. This information was published in a statistical first release on 18 December 2008.

There has been a renaissance in apprenticeships, and starts have been increasing, from 65,000 in 1996-97 with 27 per cent. completion, with 2008 completions standing at 64 per cent. Framework completions have increased from 39,000 in 2001-02 to 111,800 in 2006-07 and 112,600 in 2007-08.

My right hon. Friend, the Minister of State for Higher Education and Intellectual Property, wrote to the hon. Member on 11 March 2008, Hansard, column 286W, on the subject of how we count apprenticeships. In "World-Class Apprenticeships", we announced that we were changing the way we count apprenticeships, moving to counting the number of people starting an apprenticeship in the year ('starts') and the percentage who complete an apprenticeship ('completion rate'). Therefore, information on the total number of apprenticeships in training during the year is not available.

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