HC Deb 27 January 1997 vol 289 cc50-2W
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: [11699]

(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. [11698]

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: The 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.

ACE (11699)

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.