HC Deb 20 October 1994 vol 248 c326W
Dr. Lynne Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a statement on the implications of the delay in negotiations with the European Union on existing training and support available to unemployed people.

Miss Widdecombe

I regret that the Commission's failure to begin negotiations on the United Kingdom's objective 3 plan until the end of April led to serious problems for some training providers. I am pleased to say that thereafter negotiations on the United Kingdom's single programming document for objective 3, which accounts for most of the support for training unemployed people available from the Community, were undertaken intensively, and the document was formally agreed by the Commission at the beginning of August. Since then, the Department has been able to move quickly. Applications for European social fund grant in 1994 have now for the most part been approved, and the advances so far claimed have been paid. First priority in this process has been given to dealing with vulnerable projects from the voluntary sector.