HC Deb 16 April 2002 vol 383 cc839-40W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the hon. Member for Roxburgh and Berwickshire, representing the House of Commons Commission, (1) what steps he is taking to ensure that the House of Commons becomes a model employer in providing skills training and retraining for staff; [47636]

(2) what steps he is taking to ensure that all members of staff's skills and skill needs are professionally assessed on an annual basis. [47637]

Mr. Kirkwood

Until recently, the House had a departmental approach to training, with limited House-wide provision. Following the Braithwaite Report on Management and Services (HC745 of Session 1998–99), and in the context of the plans for House-wide accreditation as an Investor in People, there is now a more structured and planned approach to House-wide staff development. This links training and development priorities to the aims of the House administration and supports managers in their responsibilities for the continuous development and training of their staff.

Departmental training officers meet regularly to discuss priorities and to help develop and maintain the right mix of House-wide training and development. Individual, team and broader training needs for all staff are assessed as part of the annual performance appraisal process, and through House-wide awareness-raising initiatives (for example on equal opportunities). Personal development plans are reviewed and updated regularly.