asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she is satisfied with the response from local education authorities to the new vocational preparation scheme for the 16 to 19-year-olds; and if she will make a statement.
There was an enthusiastic response from the local education authorities invited to participate in the first phase of the programme of pilot schemes of Unified Vocational Preparation, which is the joint responsibility of the Education Departments and the Training Services Agency. College staff and others involved in local steering committees have worked hard to devise suitable curricula and administrative arrangements and to recruit young people in employment. 14 pilot schemes have already started, including three in Scotland; one will begin after Easter; and more will be established over the next two to three years. Measures to improve recruitment will be taken when the second phase of the programme is announced after Easter.