§ Ms Atherton
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures the Government are taking to combat age discrimination in the provision of skills training. 
§ John Healey
The Government are committed to tackling age discrimination wherever it is found, and is a signatory of the EU Employment Directive on Equality, which commits the UK to introduce legislation to combat such discrimination in employment, vocational training and guidance by 2006. The Government have asked the Learning and Skills Council—as the body responsible for planning, funding and improving the quality of post-16 learning outside higher education—to promote age diversity and tackle age discrimination when translating its commitment to equality of opportunity into effective strategies and actions. The Employment Service, which operates training programmes including Work Based Learning for Adults, Work Trials and Programme Centres, is committed to equal opportunities and encourages employers to make effective use of the skills, experience and reliability that older people can contribute.