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Open Tech

Volume 114: debated on Thursday 9 April 1987

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asked the Prime Minister if she will indicate what financial and planning resources have been put into Open Tech provision (a) in Northern Ireland and (b) in Great Britain over the last five years.

The Open Tech programme, which ran from October 1982 to March 1987, was funded by the Manpower Services Commission, which does not operate in Northern Ireland. The Commission provided nearly £51 million over that period, to help fund the production of 30,000 hours of open learning materials and develop a range of supporting services. Up to 39 commission staff were involved at any one time. No information is available about additional resources provided by contracting bodies. The Department of Education for Northern Ireland funded a separate programme between March 1985 and March 1987, providing some £200,000 for supporting services for existing open learning materials, most of which have been produced by Open Tech.