HC Deb 08 July 1991 vol 194 cc295-6W
Mr. Burns

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what progress has been made in the work of industry training organisations; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Jackson

The White Paper, "Employment for the 1990s" (Cmd 540), set out the roles that were expected of industry training organisations (ITOs) in the national training framework. It also announced that there was to be a review of progress in each industry sector.

The results of this independent review are now available. I am arranging for a copy to be placed in the Library. The findings point to the level of performance having generally improved since the last review in 1987. There was evidence of greater commitment within sectors to the key tasks of ITOs, particularly to the development of occupational standards that underpin national vocational qualifications and their Scottish equivalents. The researchers took the view that the training system continues to need a network of effective industry training organisations in order to operate, and the Government are happy to endorse that conclusion. We shall be examining the detailed recommendations made in the report to see how we can help in improving the effectiveness of these independent organisations.

The Government welcome this endorsement of our approach to sector-based training of removing the compulsion and bureaucracy of the statutory system and replacing it with voluntary arrangements.