Queen rejects Government's apprenticeship programme

Tue, 04/09/2012 - 12:06 -- nick

The Queen has refused to sign up to a Government apprenticeship scheme to provide publicly funded placements within the Royal Household, it was reported.

Buckingham Palace was approached by ministers keen for Royal estates to hire young people on a Government-backed programme.

But the Queen will instead keep her own apprenticeships for chefs, footmen and housemaids, according to The Times.

The response was revealed in a Freedom of Information request about the Apprenticeships Bill, which was in its early stages during Gordon Brown's premiership.

The Act was designed to allow millions of pounds to be given to private companies, such as McDonald's, Barclays and Vodafone, to offer apprenticeships in response to rising youth unemployment and fears that standards were falling.

The discussions between the Royal Household and the Government emerged from an email between the Ministry of Justice and the apprenticeships unit.

An email from an official said: "Your lawyers have been in touch about the provisions of the Apprenticeships Bill and in particular what I understand is your policy desire for the Bill to apply to the Royal Household."

The act required Queen's Consent because it was intended to affect the Crown's interest. Another email was sent to the MoJ in February 2009 seeking the Queen's approval.

However, there is no record of the Bill receiving Queen's Consent, suggesting the Act was not to include the Queen's palaces.

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: "The Bill does not apply to the Royal Household."

Correspondence over the Act also showed City & Guilds was now offering certified apprentice training in making a bed and the beauty procedure known as "vajazzling".

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