[holding answer 21 March 1991]: My right hon. and learned Friend and I have received representations from the chief executive and from trainees with Cobalt (UK), Liverpool about this matter. The decision not to offer Cobalt (UK) an employment training contract in Liverpool for 1991–92 was reached locally by my Department's training, enterprise and education directorate's, Merseyside area office in full consultation with 260W the chief executive of the Merseyside training and enterprise council which is scheduled to become operational from 24 June 1991.
Cobalt UK Ltd. has, however, been offered an extension to its current ET contract which was due to terminate on 31 March 1991 in order that the managing down of their provision in Liverpool can be handled sensitively and individual trainees' entitlements honoured with the minimum disruption to their training.
[holding answer 21 March 1991]: The proposed closure of Cobalt UK should not have an adverse effect on the unemployment situation in Liverpool. Other training providers in the area, who have achieved a better ratio of trainees into jobs, are able to offer similar provision in locations presently covered by Cobalt UK.
TECs are required to use their best endeavours to secure alternative training places for trainees affected by possible closures.