Margot James calls on the Government to encourage more girls into apprenticeships in IT and engineering.
Margot James (Stourbridge) (Con): Although more girls start apprenticeships than boys, they are very under-represented in some areas. Only 5% of engineering apprenticeships and 13% of IT apprenticeships were taken up by girls. Will my hon. Friend take action to encourage more girls to consider apprenticeships in IT and engineering?
Matthew Hancock: Yes. I am delighted to say that I have already taken some action, but there is more to do. The first round of the employer ownership pilots included funding for a bid by engineering companies across the country specifically to support engineering apprenticeships and engineering training. I entirely accept the size of the challenge in engineering and ICT. If we say that engineering is not for half of our population, we are never going to have enough high-quality engineers. [ Interruption. ]