HC Deb 26 April 2001 vol 367 c357W
32. Mr. Tynan

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on the development of Ufi. [157941]

Mr. Wills

Excellent progress is being made. Using the brand-name learndirect, Ufi Ltd. moved from its developmental phase to the national roll-out of its services and systems in October of last year.

There are now over 900 learndirect centres operating nationally in a wide range of settings in both urban and rural communities. learndirect currently offers in excess of 430 course titles of which over 70 per cent. are on-line. The courses cover Ufi Ltd.'s initial priority areas including basic skills, information technology at all levels and business and management skills for small and medium-sized enterprises.

The network of learning centres is underpinned by the learndirect National Information and Advice Service, comprising the learndirect telephone helpline (0800 100 900) and the learndirect website (www.learndirect.co.uk). Over 2.6 million callers to the helpline and over 1.7 million searchers of the website, have received advice and information on a whole range of over half a million learning opportunities.