HC Deb 18 May 2004 vol 421 cc930-1W
Mr. Simmonds

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps the Government is taking to improve(a) vocational training courses and (b) work-based learning in the public sector. [172626]

Mr. Ivan Lewis

The Government supports a range of high quality learning opportunities to meet skills needs in the public sector. Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) in the public sector will ensure that publicly-funded learning meets the needs of the economy. As part of that, Apprenticeships will play a major role in providing the skills needed in the workforce. To complement this, the employer-led Apprenticeship Task Force, chaired by Sir Roy Gardner, is making good progress in increasing employer engagement, including in the public sector, and is due to report in Autumn 2004.