HC Deb 04 June 1996 vol 278 cc433-4W
Sir David Steel

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what progress has been made on the Government's review of rural training provision referred to on page 54 of the Government's "Rural England" White Paper. [30674]

Mr. Boswell

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is responsible for reviewing the support for training provided through ATB-Landbase referred to in the "Rural England" White Paper.

The Ministry has placed a further contract with ATB-Landbase. The contract, worth nearly £2 million, runs to 31 March 1997 and covers strategic industry training organisation, ITO, and lead body activities for the agricultural and commercial horticulture industries, together with funding to maintain a quality-assured training instructor register. The contract also includes funding for projects embracing training promotion and the development of local initiatives. In the longer term, we believe that our funding should be channelled through a competition process to ensure that support meets the industry's training support requirements at a reasonable cost. In deciding how to take matters forward, we shall be taking into consideration the Department for Education and Employment's recent proposals for the ITO network.