HC Deb 09 June 1992 vol 209 c138
11. Mr. Paice

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what her policy is towards training and enterprise councils which build up reserves from their block grant.

Mr. McLoughlin

TECs are able to earn surpluses from increased efficiency. They are required by their contract with us to use such surpluses to further the objectives set out in their corporate and business plans.

Mr. Paice

I thank my hon. Friend for his answer. I am sure that he will agree that, in some parts of the country, training providers experience difficulty in finding the workplace element of YT. They therefore keep trainees in workshops for longer, which costs more. Will he undertake to encourage TECs to recognise the extra costs on training providers, rather than using the money to build up sometimes unnecessarily large reserves?

Mr. McLoughlin

I have received representations on this matter. The TECs' contracts make clear the priority that is attached to their training objectives. A significant part of their funding relates to trainees' achievements, which is an incentive to invest in improving the quality of their training provision. However, I shall seriously consider my hon. Friend's point.

Ms. Coffey

Is the Minister aware that engineering training places for young people in Stockport are vacant because High Peak TEC cannot afford to fund them? Does he think that that reflects the Government's failure to provide proper training opportunities for young people and to provide them with the skills that they can invest in industry for the future?

Mr. McLoughlin

A TEC must consider what is required in its area. I am not aware of the specific problem to which the hon. Lady refers, but I shall consider it. However, TECs are best suited to decide what is required in their area. No one would say that they should provide training places if people do not want to attend such courses.