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Volume 497: debated on Wednesday 14 October 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for the future of Skillfast-UK. (290146)

Skillfast-UK is an independent skills body that is currently licensed as a sector skills council. Skillfast-UK was recently assessed by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills against the standards set out in the relicensing framework for sector skills councils. The UK Commission recommended to Government that Skillfast-UK had not met the standard required of an SSC, with a proposal for consultation with the industry to identify options for future coverage of the sector. Government are in the process of considering the UK Commission's recommendation for Skillfast-UK. In the event that an SSC did not have its licence renewed by Government, it would be asked to work with the UK Commission to ensure that the skills needs of the sector in question continue to be met. This would include access for employers to high quality labour market information about skills, and the continued development of national occupational standards that underpin qualifications that meet both employer and individual needs.