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Departmental Training

Volume 491: debated on Wednesday 22 April 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how many training courses (a) civil servants and (b) Ministers in his Department undertook in each of the last three years; and what the cost of providing such training was in each year. (266267)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides a range of learning and development opportunities in the UK and at its posts overseas. Information and attendance statistics are not held centrally and cannot be provided without incurring disproportionate costs.

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 29 January 2009, Official Report, column 725W. For training in years prior to 2008, our management records provide the following details:

In 2006 the then Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, attended a National School of Government (NSG) leadership event at a cost of £630.

In 2007 the Minister for Africa, Asia and the UN, attended a NSG workshop at a cost of £200.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what his Department's policy is on the practice of holding departmental away days outside the Department's buildings. (268532)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) believes that away days are a useful tool in helping FCO teams develop and contribute effectively to delivering the FCO’s strategic objectives. Responsibility for arranging away days is devolved to directorates within the FCO and there is no central policy on where away days take place.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs how much has been spent on media training for each Minister in his Department in each of the last three years; how many sessions have been provided; and which organisations provided such training. (268554)

I refer the hon. Member to my answer of 2 March 2009, Official Report, column 1420-21W. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has not incurred any other expenditure on media training for Ministers during the last three years.