§ Mrs. Curtis-Thomas
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what Government initiatives are in place to attract capable young people to advanced modern apprenticeship schemes. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
[holding answer 4 March 2002]: Last November, at the launch of the new generation of modern apprenticeships, the Secretary of State announced a £16 million marketing campaign, to be run over three years in England, to promote apprenticeships and boost participation. That campaign, led jointly by the Department and the Learning and Skills Council, started on 4 March. A new television advertisement, aimed at young people, will run throughout March from today.
We have also now agreed with the Learning and Skills Council a detailed implementation plan for the strengthening and expansion of new generation modern apprenticeships, in line with the recommendations of the MA Advisory Committee chaired by Sir John Cassels. From the spring, a range of marketing measures will be introduced to reach not only young people, but also key influencers and employers. At the local level, Learning and Skills Councils, Connexions Partnerships, careers services and other partners will work together to raise awareness of, and foster support for, modern apprenticeships; and to provide young people with essential information and advice on the opportunities available in their communities. This action supports the Government's aims for stronger vocational and work-based learning for young people, as announced in our Green Paper published recently.