HC Deb 11 July 2002 vol 388 cc1085-6W
22. Mr. Michael Foster

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action she is taking to increase investment in basic skills in small firms. [66392]

Nigel Griffiths

The Government are committed to raising the level of adult literacy and numeracy in the workforce and has identified this as a priority area. This will help small businesses. The Government's 'Skills for Life' strategy willprovide free, high quality, training and advice on basic skills for all small employers train workplace basic skills brokers who will put businesses in touch with local basic skills training providers. 447 brokers have so far been trained. recruit employer champions, all with a proven basic skills track record in their sector, to help fellow businesses.

The Government are also helping small firms with: the Union Learning Fund, which has enabled Union Learning Representatives to promote basic skills training within the workplace. Learndirect, the online learning and information service, which offers free courses to learners on the foundations of reading, writing and numbers. the six Employer Training Pilots announced in the budget, which will test out a range of approaches to increasing training levels and enable employees to attain basic and level 2 skills.

27. Bob Spink

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on her Department's policy on encouraging employment in the small business sector. [66399]

Nigel Griffiths

I refer the hon. Member to the answer given to my hon. Friend the Member for Warwick and Leamington (Mr. Plaskitt) today.

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