§ Mr. Truswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what representations he has received regarding making skills training and its funding more flexible in meeting the requirements of employers; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Ivan Lewis
The Government are consulting a wide range of external organisations and employers in the development of the National Skills Strategy. The process has included a series of regional Skill Summits and a monthly Stakeholder Group meeting. On 26 March the Department published a Progress Report, "Developing a National Skills Strategy and Delivery Plan", which invited comments from recipients. At the same time, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) published a consultation document on funding adult learning. Each local LSC is holding consultation events with employers and learning providers in their area. Responses are currently being considered. A summary of responses will be set out in the National Skills Strategy White Paper to be published in June. Throughout the process, a key message from employers has been the need to make adult skills training and funding more responsive to their needs.
Specific and targeted grant funding allocated by DfES to Stoke-on-Trent LEA £ million Grant 1999–2000 2000–01 2001–02 2002–03 12003–04 Standard Spending Assessment/Education Formula Spending 99.5 104.2 107.6 110.6 122.4 DfES Grant 9.3 25.0 27.0 27.6 29.4 Total 108.8 129.2 134.6 138.2 151.8 1 Estimated
1. Education Formula Spending (EFS):
a. The figure for 2002–03 does not include funding for sixth forms transferred to the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) from 2002–2003 and is not fully comparable with the earlier figures.
b. The figure for 2003–2004 is not fully comparable with 2002–2003 and the earlier figures. It does not include funding for sixth forms transferred to the LSC. But it does include funding transferred into EFS from grant and to take account of the increase in contributions to the Teachers' Pension Scheme
2. From 2003–04 the Class Size Grant and the Nursery Education Grant were distributed via EFS.