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Small Businesses

Volume 480: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

17. To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps the Government are taking to improve the skills training available to employees of small businesses. (227267)

The Government are investing significant funding through the Train to Gain programme, which by 2010-11 will rise to over £1 billion a year. 61 per cent. of learners that accessed a Train to Gain funded course in 2006/07 were employed by employers of up to 250 employees.

In addition, the leadership and management programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Train to Gain supported over 2,400 employers in 2007/08. We are increasing investment in this programme to £30 million per year for the next three years and have widened eligibility to cover organisations with between 10 and 250 employees.

We will ensure that the support that we provide for all businesses is fit for purpose in the current economic climate, and will be setting out measures for that shortly.