§ Mr. Etherington
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans she has to harmonise the rates and rules governing TEC-funded training programmes with Further Education Funding Council funding for colleges; when she expects the research funded by her Department from the Further Education Funding Council on the inequalities in the funding mechanism to be finalised and published; and if she will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Paice
The Government are committed to raising participation and attainment by young people in education and training and promoting fair competition between providers. In support of this agenda, they are investigating whether there is a case for encouraging a more consistent approach to funding methodologies across school sixth forms, further education sector colleges and work-based training for young people, and to funding levels for similar qualifications in the different sectors.
We have already published for discussion an initial analysis of the comparative public funding cost per qualification achieved by 16 to 19-year-olds in each of the three sectors and placed a copy in the Library.
We are refining this initial analysis and considering the scope for convergence of funding methodologies across 16 to 19 provision in consultation with the Further Education Funding Council, the Training and Enterprise Council national council, local authority associations and others.
§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what sums have been provided in(a) 1995–96 and (b) 1996–97 to fund the range of advice and information centres and other schemes run directly or indirectly by Barnsley and Doncaster TEC; and what assessment she has made of the cost-effectiveness of transferring these funds in future years to careers services. 
§ Mr. Paice
In 1995–96, training and enterprise councils had flexibility to use up to 2.7 per cent. of the training for work budget provided by the Department to fund local adult advice and guidance services. Barnsley and Doncaster TEC exercised this flexibility to devote £336,280 towards the funding of the advice and information centre—"Skillshops"—run directly by the TEC. The TEC also received £41,000 for an access to assessment project and £28,331 for a gateway to learning project.
In 1996–97, TECs have flexibility to use up to 1 per cent. of their training for work budget to fund local adult advice and guidance services. It will be for Barnsley and Doncaster TEC to decide whether to exercise this flexibility and, if so, how the services might be delivered.
In 1996–96, Barnsley and Doncaster TEC also received funding in respect of advice and information services for young people, comprising £377,044 for careers guidance delivered by careers services to pupils in years 9 and 10; 102W and £14,748 to enhance careers libraries in schools and colleges. For 1996–97, all funding for careers advice and guidance for young people in Barnsley and Doncaster is being routed through Lifetime Careers (Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham) Ltd., the company which is contracted to provide careers services in Barnsley and Doncaster.