Letter from Dr Hywel Francis MP, Chairman,
the Welsh Affairs Select Committee
Thank you for your letter of 17 July to let
me know that your Committee is to undertake pre-legislative scrutiny
of the draft Apprenticeships Bill, and inviting comments from
the Welsh Affairs Committee.
My Committee has considered the draft Bill,
and I set out our observations below as a series of questions:
1. Are the statistics cited in the foreword
to the draft Bill England-only?
2. The draft Bill applies to England and
Wales (Section 29 and para 6 of the Explanatory Note). However
in his written statement accompanying the draft Bill, Secretary
of State John Denham noted:
This draft Bill sets out the legislative framework
needed to underpin our strategy to increase the nunmber of apprenticeship
places and strengthen apprenticeships in England.
Ought there to be greater clarity on the draft
Bill's territorial extent?
3. Why is there no reference in the draft
Bill to the Welsh Assembly Government's Department for Children,
Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills, Welsh Assembly Government?
4. Why is there no reference to the Welsh
Assembly Government's Skills that work for Wales Action Plan?
(Nor is there a reference to the draft Bill in Skills that work
5. Although there are references to the
Leitch Report on Skills, why does the draft not refer to the subsequent
UK Commission for Employment and Skills?
6. How will the content of the Bill be implemented
in Wales, and by whom?
7. How would the Bill's provisions be financed
8. How have the DIUSS and the Department
for Children, Schools and Families consulted (or how will they
consult) with the Welsh Assembly Government on the provisions
of the draft Bill?
9. Will there be any overlap in devolved
and non-devolved education policy?
10. Does the draft Bill raise any cross-border
issues? My own Committee's inquiry into cross-border issues has
touched on a number of issues which may be relevant, for example:
labour markets which cross borders;
employers which recruit from both sides of the
ensuring that people get accurate information
as to what is available; and
ensuring that colleges on both sides of the border
have clear roles in the training aspects of apprenticeships (Section
16.2 makes it clear that it applies to employers "in England").
11. There are references in the draft Bill
to "functional skills in English" (3J 5, 7Apprenticeship
scheme requirements: interpretation). Are there any specific Welsh
language issues to be addressed?
25 The Government produced answers to these questions
which are printed in the Appendix to the Report [HC 1062-I], Q122-132. Back