To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what steps he proposes to take to strengthen contacts and co-operation between senior classes in Welsh comprehensive schools and local industries; and if he will make a statement.
A Welsh Office survey conducted last year indicated that there was a generally high incidence of school-industry interaction in Wales. This is an encouraging base on which to bring in new initiatives on top of existing ones, such as general work experience currently provided through schools, local authorities, TVEI and link bodies. On 13 January I announced the Enterprise Wales package, a significant and important element of which is the business and education initiative. An aim of the initiative is that, within two or three years, every young person in Wales should be given personal experience of the world of work during their last year in school.I am also exploring the possibilities of establishing one or more compacts in Wales, which would considerably strengthen links between schools and local industrial and commercial concerns. Finally "Working Together for a Better Future", the careers initiative launched last year in England and Wales, affirms the key place of careers education in the school curriculum, to inform school leavers in their choice of occupation, including careers in industry.