HC Deb 14 February 2001 vol 363 cc161-2W
Mr. Allan

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what take-up there has been of the entitlement to paid educational leave for 16 to 17-year-olds since it was introduced; what the estimated cost has been to(a) state and (b) private employers; and if he will make a statement. [149611]

Mr. Wicks

This information is not collected centrally. The right to time off for study or training is employment legislation which protects and encourages 16 and 17-year-old employees who have not already achieved level 2 qualifications as defined by the regulations. At the end of 1999, there were an estimated 100,000 16 and 17-year-olds in England in employment but not qualified to level 2, and not working towards a level 2 qualification.

Evidence from our initial evaluation (DIEE Research Report RR221 "Time Off for Study or Training: Preliminary Evaluation of the Implementation of the Employment Right") suggests that the right has stimulated activity to promote training to young people, and has had a positive effect on recruitment into modem apprenticeships, but this remains difficult to quantify.