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Vocational Training

Volume 476: debated on Thursday 22 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what role the (a) Skills Funding Agency and (b) Young People's Learning Agency will play in local authority involvement in skills training. (205439)

The White Paper ‘Raising Expectations: enabling the system to deliver’ published March 2008 sets out plans to respond to the education and skills challenges for young people and adults. It outlines the roles of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA).

The SFA will be responsible for the demand-led services for adults and employers incorporating Train to Gain and skills accounts. It will underpin a new Adult Advancement and Careers Agency, the National Employer Service and the National Apprenticeship Service. The SFA will have a national and regional presence as well as having a role sub-regionally, working with local authorities and other partners to support local area agreements (LAAs) and Employment and Skills boards.

The YPLA will be responsible for supporting local authorities in discharging their new strategic commissioning role for 16 to 18 education and training. We anticipate that the YPLA will be established as a non-departmental public body (NDPB) and that its governance will include representatives of the key delivery partners, including local authorities. Its primary role will be to moderate the commissioning plans of local authorities for the purpose of budgetary control and ensuring that the new curriculum entitlement is delivered across every area of the country. Similar to the SFA, the YPLA will have both a national and regional presence.

Further details of the roles of the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) and the Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) are set out in the White Paper. The consultation period for the White Paper ends on 9 June 2008 and we are currently running consultation events in each region with a range of stakeholders including local authorities.