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Education written question – answered on 19th October 2012.

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Photo of Michael Crockart Michael Crockart Liberal Democrat, Edinburgh West

To ask the Secretary of State for Education

(1) how many apprentices working in his Department are (a) paid and (b) completing a qualification as part of the apprenticeship.

(2) how many (a) paid apprentices and (b) paid interns are employed in his Department.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The Department currently has eleven paid members of staff working through its apprentice programme, undertaking an NVQ level 2 in Business and Administration (they have permanent, rather than fixed term contracts, and are therefore classed as full time employees in line with the Civil Service policy on apprenticeships).

The Department is currently nearing the end of the recruitment process for its next cohort of paid apprentices. It is estimated that 40 apprentices will join the Department in late autumn; they will work across a range of functions and sites and undertake an NVQ level 3 qualification during their apprenticeship.

The Department is committed to supporting the Cabinet Office Summer Diversity Internship Programme, which was first established over 10 years ago. It aims to provide high calibre undergraduates/graduates with a 6-9 week paid training work placement within government departments. In its current format, it provides opportunities for black and ethnic minority and (lower) socio-economic students.

The key aims of the programme are to tackle any stereotypes/perceptions about the Civil Service and other agencies, whilst also promoting government departments and the Fast Stream as viable career options.

The Department offered five Summer Diversity Intern placements during this summer lasting 8 weeks. An allowance of £350 was paid to each of the Interns, who were based in London.

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