§ Mr. Pardoe
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what estimate her Department has made of the cost per hour of providing vocational training in colleges of further education; and what comparison has been made between high-cost and low-cost colleges.
§ Mr. Oakes
To assist the committee on industrial training of the local authority associations to determine charges for providing training in colleges of further education in England and Wales, the Department undertakes an annual sample survey, covering 180 colleges, of the economic costs of training provided for certain industrial training boards and for the training opportunities scheme of the Manpower Services Commission. For 659W example, the 1977 survey indicated that the average economic cost, adjusted to April 1978 prices, of providing integrated training courses for classes of 12 or more was £1.03 per student per hour in engineering and 80p per student per hour in commercial and clerical subjects.
The annual survey is not designed to provide a detailed explanation of why costs vary among colleges, but it does indicate that differences in class size account for much of the observed variation.