§ Mr. Nicholls
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what responses she has received to the proposals in the White Paper "People, Jobs and Opportunity", in respect of(a) giving employees information about company training policy and (b) making training contracts more easily enforceable; and what further action she intends to take.
§ Mr. Michael Forsyth
The Department has received some 75 responses from a range of organisations and individuals, including a number of firms. I am most grateful to all those who commented.
Many respondents saw the first proposition as an important adjunct to the "Investors in People" standard. They believed that employers would welcome guidance on effective policies for developing and training their employees, and communicating these policies throughout the work force. However, many replies pointed out that a major strength of the "Investors in People" standard is that it is voluntary, driven by business needs and by real commitment from top managers. It is also flexible enough to be relevant to individual circumstances. Accordingly, the Department plans to involve employers in drawing up detailed guidance on creating and communicating effective training policies. We do not propose to introduce legislation, as a clear majority of respondents opposed this.
The great majority of respondents did not support the idea of changing the law on the enforceability of training contracts. Most considered there was not a widespread problem and, even among respondents from the main sector where problems had been reported, there was no general agreement that legislation was required. Given the prevailing view, we propose not to take further action on this proposition.