§ Ms Stuart
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills pursuant to the answer of 30 March 2004,Official Report, column 1395W, on the Europass Scheme, what steps will be taken to participate in the Europass initiative; and what the timescale is for each stage of the process. 
§ Alan Johnson
The UK is already participating fully in the current implementation of Europass Training, set up under Council Decision 1999/51/EC of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways in work-linked training, including apprenticeship.
If the current proposals for the new Europass Programme are adopted by co-decision of the European Parliament and Council of Ministers this year, it is expected that the initiative will begin on 1 January 2005. We will appoint a National Europass center to coordinate Europass activities within the UK. We expect the National center to be in place for the start of the Programme.