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Vocational Training

Volume 202: debated on Friday 24 January 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will indicate the forecast amounts of European social fund money that will be received by British industry in respect of vocational training in 1992 and 1993; what is the forecast of United Kingdom public sector provision towards vocational training for each of these years supporting such European social fund funding; and what are the principal sources from which such public sector provision is forecast to be provided, together with the amounts of funds for each of these years.

The main objective of the European social fund (ESF) is to assist the unemployed into permanent employment by means of vocational training and other employment measures. To the extent that ESF contributes to a better trained work force, the fund is of benefit to the whole of British industry.A wide variety of organisations secure direct ESF support, including training and enterprise councils, local enterprise companies in Scotland, and industry training organisations. The fund also provides major support in respect of such national programmes as employment training and youth training which are in turn delivered locally by TECs and LECs.Under the current European Community rules, money from the ESF is used to fund 45 per cent. of the eligible costs of a project, with the remaining 55 per cent. to come from matching by public funding. The principal sources of this public expenditure are central Government and individual local authorities. In 1991–92 we anticipate receiving £4995 million from the ESF for Great Britain, requiring public matching funding of at least £610.5 million. Details of anticipated receipts from the ESF for 1992–93 and 1994–95 will be published shortly in departmental expenditure plans.