Just listen to the state of this.

I asked the Government why apprenticeship starts at lower levels had crashed since the introduction of the apprenticeship levy with SME apprenticeships down by a half and the Minister’s answer completely ignores the question.


Toby Perkins: I can understand why the Minister didn’t refer to the trends because he knows that level 2 apprenticeships are way down. The Government’s reforms have seen level 2 apprenticeship starts fall by two thirds since 2012/13 and the number of people employed on an apprenticeship with an SME has fallen 49% since the introduction of the levy. Now, I know the Minister talks powerfully about apprenticeships but why does he think that young people are half as likely to be on an SME apprenticeship now than they were when the levy was introduced?


Minister: I know the Hon. Gentleman and I respect him hugely, but I know he is a bruiser, but I have been looking forward to his question. I thought he would be celebrating the 13,000 apprentices in his constituency, in Chesterfield, since May 2010 or the 11,270 in levels 2 and 3 or the 19.5 million investment in Chesterfield College and if I were him, I would be urging his party to stop their plans to destroy the Apprenticeship Levy, which would actually half the number of apprenticeship starts overall. Yeah, back to square one.

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