By July 2009, around 200,000 employers had staff involved in training through the programme. In the 2008-09 academic year, learners started 817,400 Train to Gain courses.
I thank the Minister for his reply and welcome him to his portfolio. The figures he gave demonstrate that the programme is very successful. Local manufacturers in the west midlands have recognised and welcomed it in the past. Can he give assurances that the programme will be continued, particularly as it was used effectively during the global recession, for companies on short-time working? In the event that we relaxed back into a double-dip recession, it could be there for them to use again.
The hon. Gentleman will know that the problem with Train to Gain is its deadweight cost—a fact that the last Administration were unwilling to face up to. The evaluations of Train to Gain suggest that it is used to support all kinds of training that employers would have funded anyway and to accredit skills that already exist—