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Education: Civil Service Agencies

Volume 494: debated on Wednesday 17 June 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the final (a) administrative, (b) recruitment, (c) staffing, (d) building, (e) ICT and (f) marketing and advertising costs of establishing the (i) Skills Funding Agency, (ii) Young People’s Learning Agency, (iii) National Apprenticeship Service and (iv) Adult Advancement and Careers Service; and what such costs had been incurred on the latest date for which figures are available. (275073)

In designing the new structures we are working to an administration budget which is set at the same level as the LSC currently operates within. There will be some short term costs associated with the transition to the new arrangements, and work is ongoing to provide robust estimates of these.

Ensuring that staff transfers are consistent with TUPE, Cabinet Office guidance and employment legislation will cost roughly £3 million. We also estimate it will cost around £2 million to £3 million to secure broad comparability of pensions.

On premises, initial modelling indicates that the cost of reducing the estate size could be around £32 million, but that annual savings of up to £17 million could be achieved thereafter.

The exact costs will depend on a range of factors and the LSC is drawing up a strategy to identify the most cost effective option for each part of the estate. We also expect further savings to be realised through rationalisation of IT systems and better operation of shared services.

There will be costs associated with advertising and recruitment of the new chief executive posts. For the chief executive of the National Apprenticeship Service they were approximately £78,000. Recruitment of the chief executive of Skills Funding and the chief executive of the Young People’s Learning Agency is still under way. Most other staff will transfer through an internal matching process. We do not anticipate a significant shortfall in numbers, and any associated recruitment costs are expected to be minimal.

This Department, and the Department for Children, Schools and Families, are continuing to refine the transition costs as part of the detailed design work.