HC Deb 18 February 1986 vol 92 c151W
Mr. Ashley

asked the Paymaster General if he will give figures for (a) Stoke on Trent, (b) the west midlands and (c) the United Kingdom showing the percentage change between 1979 and the most recent year for which figures are available for the number of young people starting apprenticeships.

Mr. Trippier

Information is not available in the form requested. The number of 16-year-old school leavers starting apprenticeships in England and Wales, including long term trainees on YTS, fell by 32 per cent. between 1979 and 1983. Comparable figures are not available for Stoke-on-Trent or for the west midlands.

The numbers entering traditional apprenticeships are becoming increasingly irrelevant as a measure of the real level of skills training being undertaken as industry's skill needs change. For many industries, including the expanding new technology sector, apprenticeship is not the usual means of achieving full skills status. YTS already enables a substantial amount of initial skills training to be carried out, and the expanded two-year scheme will provide increased opportunity for flexible skills training relevant to employers' needs.

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