To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what recent discussions she has held with (a) the Department for Education and Skills and (b) individual universities on the development of a workforce equipped with the necessary skill levels for the nuclear industry. 
Following publication in December 2002 of the report of the 'Nuclear Skills Group', activity has focused on the development of proposals for a new Sector Skills Council—COGENT—covering the nuclear industry, oil and gas, petroleum and polymers. My officials have had meetings with DfES as part of that process and work closely with DfES colleagues on the approach to sector skills generally. Officials have also been in discussion with a number of Universities about the provision of relevant courses to ensure that skills relevant to the nuclear industry are available for the future. These discussions are continuing.