§ Mr. Colvin
To ask the Secretary of State for Education if she will make a statement on the relative merits and successes of general national vocational qualifications and national vocational qualifications. 
§ Mr. Boswell
General national vocational qualifications provide a broad vocational education, as a preparation for employment, further training or higher education. They are proving a great success, with over 160,000 new registrations this year. Evidence from Ofsted and the Further Education Funding Council inspectorate shows that GNVQs are motivating students of all abilities to achieve and succeed. The Government are making available an additional £29 million over the next three years to develop and improve the qualifications further,488W and to ensure that they are rigorous enough to claim parity of esteem with more familiar qualifications.
Substantial progress has also been made with NVQs, which are the responsibility of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Employment: 86 per cent. of the employed population is now covered by NVQs and almost 765,000 have been awarded. The Government are determined that all NVQs should be of consistently high quality; to that end, a survey of the top 100 NVQs is being carried out this year, with all NVQs being reviewed by March 1998.