MPs debated apprenticeships and electoral registration

04 February 2015

MPs debated apprenticeships in the House of Commons on Wednesday 4 February 2015, in the first of two debates to take place on subjects chosen by the Opposition. The second debate was on electoral registration.

Apprenticeships

The debate was moved by Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr Chuka Umunna.  Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, responded on behalf of the Government.

Motion for debate

MPs debated the following motion:

"That this House believes that more high-quality apprenticeships are essential to the future prospects of young people and future success of the economy; notes with concern that the number of 19 to 24 year olds starting an apprenticeship has fallen by 6,270 in the last year, that 24 per cent of these apprentices are receiving no formal training, and around one in five are not receiving the appropriate minimum wage; calls on the Government to institute a ten-year national goal to grow the number of apprenticeships for young people and boost the standing and value of technical and vocational education so that the same number of young people that go to university undertake a high-quality apprenticeship; and further calls on the Government to use the money it already spends on procurement to require suppliers for large government contracts to offer new apprenticeship opportunities, safeguard apprenticeship quality with new standards so that all apprenticeships are at at least level three and last a minimum of two years, ensure government plays its part by creating thousands more apprenticeships in the civil service, give city and country regions a role by devolving money for adult skills and give a central role to business through sector bodies to drive up standards and increase apprenticeship places."

 The motion was negatived on division (Division no.148, Ayes 218, Noes 294).

Electoral registration

The debate was moved by Shadow Lord Chancellor and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice and Shadow Minister for London, Sadiq Khan. The Minister for the Constitution,  Mr Sam Gyimah, responded on behalf of the Government.

Motion for debate

MPs debated the following motion:

"That this House recognises the importance of a complete and accurate electoral register to the health of our democracy; welcomes the fact that 1.8 million voters have registered using online registration, but notes that, according to the Electoral Commission, 7.5 million eligible voters are missing from the register; notes with concern that an estimated one million voters have left the register in the past year and that the shift to individual electoral registration could see millions more fall off the register; calls on the Government and the Electoral Commission to do more to tackle under-registration, including block-registering students in university or college accommodation and people living in adult sheltered accommodation and care homes, introducing a schools registration scheme, on the model of the Northern Ireland Schools Initiative, to boost registration in time for the General Election on 7 May 2015, and maximising the use of national and local data sets in securing a complete register; and further calls on the Government to set a clear goal to reduce the numbers of missing voters and to delay fully implementing individual electoral registration until this goal is met."

The motion was negatived on division (Division no.149, Ayes 216, Noes 289).

Related information

About Opposition day debates

Opposition days are days allocated in the House of Commons in each session for the discussion of subjects chosen by the Opposition.

Seventeen days are at the disposal of the Leader of the Opposition, the leader of the largest opposition party, to decide which matters are debated. Three days are usually divided between the other opposition parties.

The Opposition generally use them to raise questions of policy and administration. Frequently, two separate subjects are debated on an opposition day.

Watching Opposition day debates from the public gallery

UK residents and overseas visitors can watch proceedings in the House of Commons by visiting the public gallery.

Image: iStock

This article was produced by the Commons Digital Outreach Team. Follow the @HouseofCommons on Twitter for updates on the UK House of Commons Chamber.
 

More news on: Parliament, government and politics, Elections, Employment and training, Parliament, House of Commons news, Commons news, Training, Electoral register

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