§ Mr. Sheerman
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many national training organisations have been wound up; how many have been replaced by skills sector councils; and how many will not be replaced. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
We have not wound up any national training organisations although we removed their formal recognition from 31 March 2002. National training organisations are independent bodies and are free to carry on as entities in their own right. The continued funding, operation and staffing of former national training organisations are decisions for the board of each organisation.
We are, however, establishing a smaller, stronger network of sector skills councils in sectors where employers can demonstrate their proposals meet stringent sector skills councils' standards. Former national training organisations may make proposals for a sector skills council licence although it has never been the intention to replace national training organisations with sector skills councils on a head to head basis.831W
We are working with five trailblazer sector skills councils and have recommended that a further four sectors move quickly to a development phase.