§ 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. 
§ 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 931W Roy Gardner, is making good progress in increasing employer engagement, including in the public sector, and is due to report in Autumn 2004.