Skip to main content

Local Employer Partnerships

Volume 464: debated on Monday 8 October 2007

6. What mechanisms are in place to assess and audit the adequacy of skills training provided by employers involved in local employer partnerships. (156108)

Through local employment partnerships, we will be working with employers to enable individuals to get the preparation and training that they need to support their movement into work. In England and Wales, Ofsted and its Welsh equivalent, Estyn, have the responsibility to assess the effectiveness of training contracted and funded by the Government. In Scotland, all Scottish Enterprise national training programmes must conform to Scottish quality management system standards.

I thank my hon. Friend for her answer. I am sure that she will agree with me that the importance of skills and training is utmost in everybody’s minds, particularly with the Olympic games and the biggest build programme in Glasgow’s history, as well as—hopefully—build for the Commonwealth games and Glasgow’s bid. Will she ensure that apprenticeship training is valid and relevant to the jobs that are needed, and that the skills shortage and gap will be taken care of in future?

My hon. Friend raises a very important point. It is absolutely key that the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills work together to ensure that the connection between employer and training is strengthened. I was very pleased to visit Portsmouth this summer, where VT Shipbuilding is working with the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions and Jobcentre Plus to produce a fantastic programme. Pre-employment training is provided in the shipyard, ending with an offer of adult traineeships up to a very high standard. Four men who had been out of work for a considerable time got those jobs. I am meeting some of the companies working to build the infrastructure around the Olympic games. I take on board my hon. Friend’s point, and I would be happy to talk to him further about what we can achieve in this area.