HC Deb 21 June 1993 vol 227 cc56-7W
Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment, pursuant to his answer to the hon. Member for Warley, West (Mr. Spellar), of 14 June,Official Report, column 452, what definition of apprenticeships was used in in his answer; and if he will make a statement.

Miss Widdecombe

Respondents to the Labour Force Survey self-classify themselves when answering appropriate questions about apprenticeships. However, if clarification is needed interviewers are provided with the following guidance note'Normally an apprenticeship commences at the age of 16 or 17 and is usually completed by the age of 21 after a minimum of three years.


  • Indentured apprenticeships;
  • Those registered with a national body, eg. National Joint Council for the Building Industry;
  • Persons with an employer's certificate of completion;
  • Those recognised by an industrial training board or by a trade union for membership purposes;
  • Articled clerks—those serving a period of training as accountants, solicitors etc;
  • Hairdressers who are undergoing a planned training programme.


  • Persons who have been upgraded through informal (or formal) training and/or experience;
  • Architectural draughtsmen.'

Apprenticeships are only part of the system of delivering vocational training. The 1980s saw the introduction, and expansion, of training for young people through the youth training initiatives. In addition, many young people opt to acquire vocational training through the further education system.

Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment (1) how many fully indentured apprenticeships have been completed in each of the past 10 years; and if he will make a statement;

(2) how many of those persons who are recognised by the labour force survey as having completed an apprenticeship in 1992 had taken in excess of two years' training to achieve it.

Miss Widdecombe

The information is not available.

Mr. Wigley

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment in what circumstances TECs finance apprenticeships which take in excess of two years to complete; and how many such apprenticeships were funded by TECs during 1991.

Miss Widdecombe

Training and enterprise councils (TECs) provide training opportunities under youth training (YT) for young people leading to approved qualifications at or above national vocational qualification level 2 standard. A TEC may support a young person undergoing apprenticeship training for the duration of the apprenticeship period, subject to the trainee remaining under 25 years of age. The Labour Force Survey shows that some 52,000 apprenticeships were operating under YT in the spring of 1991.