To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement on recent reductions in training facilities available for ex-offenders following the renegotiation of contract for voluntary sector providers.
Funding for employment training is a matter for the Department of Employment. I understand that recent reductions in funding are related to falling unemployment and a significant reduction in the numbers of young people entering the labour market. The Training Agency and the new training and enterprise councils seek to ensure that suitable training is provided for people with special needs, including ex-offenders. Officials of the Home Office and Training Agency are jointly examining the implications of the Government's recently published White Paper on dealing with offenders in the community in relation to training and enterprise programmes.