§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what assessment she has made of the extent of skills mismatch on a regional basis. 
§ Mr. Paice
The Department funds an annual survey of employers' recruitment difficulties which provides data at regional level and monitors similar data from the CBI. Recruitment difficulties tend to be higher in the southern regions of the country. However, they are generally lower in these regions than they were at the peak of the economic cycle in 1990. Many recruitment difficulties may not be due to skills mismatch.