To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what mandatory education is provided to armed forces personnel aged 16 or 17-years old who are not undertaking an apprenticeship in order to ensure that they complete 280 guided learning hours per year towards accredited qualifications.
All Armed Forces recruits under the age of 18 are enrolled on an apprenticeship. They also receive education in literacy and numeracy, should they need it. The Armed Forces remain the UK's largest apprenticeship provider, equipping young people with valuable and transferable skills for life. OFSTED regularly inspects our care of newly joined young recruits, and we are very proud of the standards we achieve. All apprenticeships require a minimum of 280 Guided Learning Hours (GLHs) within a 12-month period.
Over 95% of all recruits, no matter what their age or prior qualifications, enrol in an Apprenticeship Programme each year. Apprenticeships ensure that Service personnel will gain a Level 2 qualification in literacy and numeracy, which is the equivalent to GCSE (Grade A-C).
Since September 2012, the Department has adopted Functional Skills qualifications (FS (English) and FS (mathematics)) as the accredited measures of literacy and numeracy skills for all Service personnel accessing in-Service literacy and numeracy provision. Defence FS provision will be a blend of in-house and external provision.