§ Mrs. McCurley
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about arrangements for vocational education and training in Scotland.
§ Mr. Rifkind
The Government's plans for vocational education and training in the United Kingdom are set out in a White Paper published today by my noble Friend the Secretary of State for Employment.
Points of particular significance for Scotland include the extension of the technical and vocational education initiative (TVEI), which will allow Scottish authorities to build on the success they are already enjoying under the pilot schemes. The curricular principles on which the extended TVEI scheme will be based are set out in a written answer given today by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Education and Science to the hon. Member for Rugby and Kenilworth (Mr. Pawsey). They are fully consistent with the objectives of standard grade for 14 to 16s and action plan for 16 to 18s. As with the pilot scheme, my Department will be fully involved with the Manpower Services Commission in the management of TVEI in Scotland and in particular will continue to be represented on the national steering group.
In recognition of the stage which has already been reached in Scotland in securing the changes needed in the field of vocational qualifications through the successful implementation of the 16-plus action plan, I have decided that it would be inappropriate for the national vocational qualifications framework and the National Council for Vocational Qualifications to extend to Scotland at the present time. The Scottish Vocational Education Council (SCOTVEC) will, however, continue to be a member of the YTS certification board. The Government intend to consolidate the reforms already made in Scotland under 16-plus action plan and to press ahead with a number of new developments, including the accreditation of work-based learning, competency testing and a review of advanced SCOTVEC qualifications. In view of the need to secure mutual recognition of equivalent vocational qualifications obtained in Scotland and in the rest of the United Kingdom, close working relationships will be maintained between the National Council for Vocational Qualifications and Scottish interests. I will consider in two 572W or three years' time whether there should be any formal change in the relationship between the National Council and Scotland.