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Lords debate the quality and accessibility of apprenticeships in the UK


Peers including the Director and Chairman of the Warwick Manufacturing Group, the Chairman of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and the chair of Future Leaders Trust will debate the importance of apprenticeships in the UK labour market, on Thursday 15 October.

The debate will be opened by Baroness Prosser, former Deputy General Secretary of the Transport and General Workers' Union and former president of the TUC.

Speaking ahead of the debate, she said: 

“I strongly believe that apprenticeships, in providing specialised and career-relevant training, offer a unique and immensely valuable way to get people's careers off the ground. But it's vital that the apprenticeship ‘brand' is taken seriously and is a fully supported strand of a wider employment strategy, and we are not there yet in this country.

“We are witnessing a decline in the numbers of apprenticeships for under 16s in the UK, diminishing funding for the FE sector is also a real concern, and the mismatch of skills to future jobs needs to be addressed.

“Having said that, there are real causes for celebration in the apprenticeship sector, from the re-introduction of the training levy for large employers, to the commitment to apprenticeships being shown in certain sectors, such as the nuclear industry.

“This debate will be a great opportunity to explore the issue of apprenticeships, their availability and quality, and how we can ensure they continue to play a pivotal role in the labour market of the UK.”

Members scheduled to speak include:

The Earl of Courtown will respond on behalf of the Government.

Other peers scheduled to speak include Lord Aberdare, Lord Addington, the Bishop of Derby, Lord Haskel, Lord Haughey, Baroness Humphreys, Lord Lisvane,Lord Macdonald of Tradeston, Baroness Sharp of Guildford, Lord Snape, Baroness Warwick of Undercliffe, Lord Watson of Invergowrie, and Lord Young of Norwood Green.

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