§ Mr. Roy Beggs
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what action she proposes to ensure that Government funding for tourism and hospitality training in Northern Ireland matches that provided in Great Britain. 
§ Mr. Worthington
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. Roy Beggs, dated 4 July 1997:The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland has asked me, as Chief Executive of the Training and Employment Agency, to reply to your question about Government funding for tourism and hospitality training in Northern Ireland.I regret I am unable to provide information which could be used to make a meaningful comparison between funding for tourism and hospitality training in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Because of the very different arrangements which apply in the regions, the information could only be made available at a wholly disproportionate cost.I can assure you however that the Training and Employment Agency is fully committed to supporting training within the tourism and hospitality industry which is treated as a top priority. Evidence of the Agency's commitment lies in the £7.2m which was spent during 1996/97 on a wide range of training programmes. This support included European Social Fund assistance amount to £2.4m administered by the Agency. Support was also made available through the Agency's Johskills pmgmmtne (£4m), the Company Development Programme (£0.5m), the Priority Skills Initiative (£0.24m) and the Scctoral Development Programme (£0.07m). In addition, over £3 in is being made available over two years from the European Union's Special Programme for Peace and Reconciliation.I feel sure you will agree that the total level of assistance represents a very generous measure of support by any standard.