HC Deb 29 January 1998 vol 305 cc484-5
2. Dr. Whitehead

If he will make a statement on the progress of the establishment of the university for industry. [24180]

The Secretary of State for Education and Employment (Mr. David Blunkett)

We have made substantial progress with the help of the working group chaired by David Brown of Motorola Ltd., and we shall produce further details in the forthcoming White Paper on lifelong learning and the prospectus for the university for industry, which will be published in March.

Dr. Whitehead

Does my right hon. Friend agree that, given the right degree of support, the university for industry will rank alongside that other achievement of a Labour Government, the Open university? Can he assure me that the creation of the essential starting point, the multi-media learning network, is being satisfactorily progressed by the design and implementation advisory group?

Mr. Blunkett

I can give that assurance. The university for industry will make a major contribution to equipping our nation with the skills required to sustain growth with stable inflation, and to do so in a new century, when new skills and the ability to take advantage of information and communication technology will be at the forefront of our prosperity and our ability to compete.