§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State and his ministerial colleagues have regular meetings with numerous organisations and agencies1008W to discuss modern apprenticeship developments. The Secretary of State has agreed to take part in a panel discussion at the Confederation of British Industry conference to address skills issues including modern apprenticeships. There are plans for Sir Roy Gardner, Chair of the Modern Apprenticeship Task Force, to feed back the task force's interim findings to the Secretary of State and myself.
The Government are wholly behind modern apprenticeships as a high quality work-based learning option for young people. We are fully committed to implementing the reforms recommended by the Modern Apprenticeships Advisory Committee under Sir John Cassels, and more recent skills strategy announcements. We have adopted a PSA target for 2004 of 28 per cent. of young people entering a modern apprenticeship before the age of 22. We have made sufficient resources available to ensure that we meet this target and are on course to achieve it.