Speeches sourced from the Labour party’s online archive More…

Gordon Marsden MP, Labour's Shadow Minister for Further Education, Skills and Regional Growth, commenting on the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee report on apprenticeships, said:

"The committee’s report sharply criticises the Government’s record on apprenticeships, echoing concerns Labour has been raising for well over a year on the need for a coherent strategy for apprentices of all ages focused on quality.

"The committee is right to call for apprenticeships to be a pathway to new skills, rather than merely the accreditation of existing ones, and to recognise the crucial role of independent careers advice in schools in raising young people’s awareness of the vocational options open to them.

"Coming on the back of recent revelations that up to 20 per cent of apprentices receive no formal training, this is a timely intervention underlining the need for ministers to get a grip and ensure the apprenticeship programme provides quality vocational opportunities for people of all ages.

"As Ed Miliband has said, in One Nation we must tackle the lack of opportunities for the forgotten 50 per cent who do not go to university."

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