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To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to promote apprenticeships in the woodworking and joinery sector.
We have introduced a wide range of reforms to improve the quality of apprenticeships and to encourage employers, of all sizes and in all sectors, across England to create more high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.
New high-quality apprenticeship standards, designed and driven by industry, are providing employers with the skills they need. Over 530 standards have been approved for delivery to apprentices. From August 2020 all starts will be on these employer-designed standards.
Employers in the woodwork and joinery sector have developed two standards available for delivery – one at level 2 and one at level 3. The sector can also benefit from the 76 new apprenticeship standards in construction-related roles that have been approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education. This exceeds the target of 50 set in the 2018 Construction Sector Deal. A further 22 are in development.
We continue to encourage the take up of our apprenticeship programme across all sectors, including in construction. The third phase of the Fire it Up campaign launched in January, targeting audience groups that contribute to widening participation in apprenticeships.
To ensure that young people hear about all the education and employment options available to them, in January 2018 we introduced a legal requirement for schools to give training providers the chance to talk to pupils about technical qualifications and apprenticeships. We offer a free service to schools through the Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge (ASK) project to ensure that teachers have the knowledge and support to enable them to promote apprenticeships to their students. In the last academic year, ASK reached over 300,000 students.
Representatives from the National Apprenticeship Service also attended 30 UCAS exhibitions in 2019, engaging with around 10,000 young people, their parents and careers advisers. This work will continue during 2020 alongside our wider communications and marketing activity to raise the profile of apprenticeships.