HC Deb 05 February 1987 vol 109 cc735-6W
Mr. Ron Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science (1) what representation he has on each of the 14 Manpower Services Commission sector groups connected with the job training scheme;

(2) what representation he has on the advisory group for the development of the job training scheme;

(3) what representation he has in the modular accreditation development programme for the job training scheme;

Class Vote Description of Expenditure Current cash limit £'000 Revision Revised cash limit
XII 1 Schools, further education and other services 211,094 –130 210,964
XII 3 Universities, etc. 1,564,274 –1,507 1,562,767
XII 4 Central Administration 53,604 +1,032 54,636
XII 5 Research Councils etc.: Agricultural and Food Research Council 52,679 +4,470 57,149
XII 8 Research Councils, etc.: Science and engineering Research Council 315,529 +658 316,187
XII 9 Research Councils, etc.: Economic and Social Research Council 23,634 +186 23,820

Supplementary Estimates for Votes 4, 5, 8 and 9 will be presented for parliamentary approval.

The increase on Vote 4 is required to cover the part-year costs of an increase in the Department's manpower ceiling at 31 March 1987 from 2,417 to 2,450 and to meet other increases in the level of activity. The Department's running cost target for 1986–87 has accordingly been revised from £54 million to £55 million.

(4) what representation he has on the technical control group of the job training scheme.

Mrs. Rumbold

The Department is not represented on the groups referred to by the hon. Member. They are, I understand, informal groups involving the major examining and validating bodies. The MSC has brought them together with the immediate purpose of examining the qualifications which might most appropriately be made available for the new scheme. I understand that the MSC will be further consulting the National Council for Vocational Qualifications, on which Her Majesty's Inspectorate has an observer, on the issues relating to qualifications which arise from the job training scheme. Mr. Oscar De Ville, chairman of the NCVQ, has said that the council will work closely with the MSC to help ensure that the qualifications are of high quality and are relevant to the standards required by employers.

Mr. Ron Davies

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what plans he has to involve Her Majesty's inspectorate in ensuring the quality of education and training delivery in the job training scheme.

Mrs. Rumbold

Where Her Majesty's inspectors observe job training scheme provision in the course of their inspections of colleges they will discuss their judgments about its quality with those concerned and comment, as appropriate, in their published reports on the colleges. In addition, I understand that the MSC's training standards advisory service is likely to be involved in inspecting the quality of the new scheme.