He recently re-iterated this in the House of Commons during his statement on pensions in response to a question from a member of the opposition on behalf of the WASPIs.
Here's an extract from the publication by the House of Commons library No 06113, 4th January 2019 which show the actual take-up of apprenticeships by people (not just women), in 2016/17.
Only 4,000 people, both men and women, aged 60+ signed up for an apprenticeship in 2016/17. That's only 1% of the population!
Not only that. Another publication by the Department of Education, a survey on Learners and Apprentices 2018 shows the numbers of people who failed to complete their apprenticeships and their reasons for it.
Note the small print at the bottom - “it was already known that many learners and apprentices do not complete their training.”
Here is a summary of the official statistics as stated in the summary
Note how many more women than men cited “personal or domestic problems” as their reason for not completing. More evidence of inequality!
The final sentence clearly states that “these issues disproportionately impacted on women and those aged 25 and over.”
If ever there was proof enough that apprenticeships for WASPIs do not and will not work, this is it!
And here's more evidence of personal challenges faced by these older apprentices.
So, Mr Guy Opperman, Work & Pensions Minister, you already know that your so-called solution simply doesn't work, but then again, we could have told you before your department spent all that money commissioning the survey!
What do you think? The evidence clearly shows that there is no benefit whatsoever for a WASPI woman in taking up an apprenticeship. Unless, of course, she is 100% fit and well, leads an extremely quiet and non-disruptive life, has not experienced a recent change in employment, is fully able to understand and absorb new information, is not physically disabled and has no mental or emotional difficulties.
How many WASPI women do you know who can satisfy all of those criteria?
Answers on a postcard........!