HL Deb 19 January 2005 vol 668 cc118-9WA
Lord Jopling

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Further to the Written Answer by Lord Whitty on 14 December (WA 81 ), what plans they have to increase the number of officials in the Rural Payments Agency who have a qualification in agriculture or related sciences above the current number of 308. [HL723]

Lord Whitty

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) is an accredited Investor in People and is fully committed to supporting its staff in the development of agriculture or related science qualifications.

RPA offers a broad range of skills-based training provided in-house and also supports further education undertaken externally by staff in agricultural and other subjects relevant to inspectorate work.

In addition, during 2005 RPA plans to introduce two additional programmes for its inspectorate staff. These are:

A formal vocational qualification in business skills for inspectors at NVQ Level 3;

A BTEC professional diploma for EU-funded rural inspections in the UK.

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