§ Mr. Richard Page
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement about the merger of the Business Education Council and the Technician Education Council.
§ Mr. William Shelton
The Business and Technician Education Council, a company limited by guarantee with charitable status, will be set up by the Secretary of State for Education and Science to operate from 1 January 1983. During the nine months, 1 January 1983 to 30 September 1983, BTEC and the two existing councils will run in parallel. BEC and TEC will be concerned essentially with maintaining current operations for the remainder of the 1982–83 session. BTEC will concentrate on preparing for the full implementation of the merger from 1 October 1983, particularly determining budgets and estimates, agreeing the new committee structure and forward planning.
This merger, foreseen at the time BEC and TEC were set up, is a sensible rationalisation of the validation system at the non-degree level. It will in due course provide a unified and more cost-effective service to students, institutions and employers, and will allow BTEC to adopt the best practices of each of its constituent councils.
The merger proposal was put forward by BEC and TEC, with the full support of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science. There then followed a period of consultation with relevant outside interests, which showed clear support for the merger.
My right hon. Friend has appointed an interim BTEC Council of 13 members to serve from 1 January. The remaining members of the 30 strong BTEC council will be appointed from 1 October 1983, at which time BEC and TEC will formally cease to exist.
The first chairman of BTEC is to be Mr. H. N. Raine, Chairman of TEC since 1976.
HRH The Duke of Kent has agreed to be the President of BTEC.