§ Mr. Robert McCartney
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) how many action for community employment workers are employed(a) by each district council and (b) in charity shops; how many action for community employment employers there are; and what was the average number of employees per scheme in 1995 and 1996: 
(2) if he will list the (a) annual costs, (b) staff numbers and (c) trainee throughput of each training centre in Northern Ireland, indicating the overall cost per trainee for each centre. 
§ Mr. Moss
Responsibility for the subject in question has been delegated to the Training and Employment Agency under its chief executive, Mr. Ian Walters. I have asked him to arrange for a reply to be given.
Letter from Ian Walters to Mr. Robert McCartney, dated 24 January 1997:51WThe Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me, as Chief Executive of the Training and Employment Agency, to reply to your questions about the Agency's Training Centres and the Action for Community Employment (ACE) scheme.
Training Centres (11698)
You requested information on Training Centres and the most recent available is set out below.
Training Centre annual costs for 1995–96 £ Ballymena 1,763,966 Dundonald 1,322,484 Felden 1,393,863 Lisburn 1,086,375 Boucher Road 1,093,757 Newry 1,397,222 Craigavon 1,097,476 Omagh 1,091,301 Enniskillen 831,419 Springtown 1,233,025 Maydown 806,751
In line with the practice in all Training Organisations, the Training Centres' annual costs shown above do not include training allowances. In addition, the Agency has a provision for capital equipment which is administered centrally.
Training Centres normally provide 12 months in-Centre training followed by a period of monitored training and work experience with employers. For completeness therefore, the average numbers of trainees occupying training places are best presented as follows:
Training Centre Average occupancy In-Centre In placements Ballymena 464 219 245 Dundonald 392 154 238 Felden 481 210 271 Lisburn 384 126 258 Boucher Road 229 135 94 Newry 470 150 320 Craigavon 390 156 234 Omagh 348 126 222 Enniskillen 233 110 123 Springtown 300 170 130 Maydown 287 109 178
I should mention that Boucher Road Training Centre closed in September 1996.
The current numbers of staff at each Training Centre are:
Training Centre Number of staff Ballymena 40 Dundonald 40 Felden 41.5 Lisburn 42.5 Newry 46 Craigavon 27 Omagh 30 Enniskillen 22 Springtown 43 Maydown 21
The average cost of each training place in 1995–96 was £5,237. The information you requested on trainee throughput is not held in a form which would allow for a full reply to your question. That information could be obtained only at a disproportionate cost. Trainees are continually recruited to the Centres for varying lengths of time and of course there is therefore a continual outflow. On average, the Centres recruit approximately 2,000 trainees per annum and a similar number leave the system, either on completion of training or prematurely.52W
Nine of the District Councils employ the following numbers of ACE workers:
District Councils Places filled at 17 December 1996 Antrim Borough Council 1 Armagh District 13 Banbridge District Council 1 Lisburn Borough Council 6 North Down Borough Council 12 Dungannon District Council 15 Limavady Borough Council 17 Omagh District Council 27 Strabane District Council 16
The current number of ACE employees in charity shops is 115.
The Agency generally holds information about ACE for financial years. At the end of December 1996, the 229 ACE providers' individual occupancy averaged 32, amounting to a total average occupancy in the current financial year to date of 7,294. In 1995/96 there were 237 ACE providers who maintained a total average occupancy of 7,757 employees, giving an average of 33 employees with each provider. In 1994/95, 248 ACE providers had a total average occupancy of 9,562, with an average of 39 employees each.
I hope you find this information useful.