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Vocational Training

Volume 482: debated on Tuesday 11 November 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what qualifying criteria he has established for skills health checks. (230750)

In 'Opportunity, Employment and Progression: Making Skills Work' published in November 2007, which sets out our plans for reforming our welfare and skills system, the Government announced the introduction of a skills health check to help fully to assess the skills and learning requirements needed by unemployed people to support their return to work.

The skills health check, which will include a new diagnostic assessment tool, will be delivered by careers advisers who will use the full range of advisory services they have at their disposal to consider an individual's skill strengths and gaps, and agree an action plan to address any needs they have. There are no qualifying criteria laid down to determine who should get this service, but priority will be given to those with the greatest need for help in getting back to work.

The skills health check, including a prototype skills diagnostic tool, is being trialled as part of an integrated employment and skills offer, initially in the West Midlands, and from autumn 2010 will be available as part of a national adult advancement and careers service.