Training and enterprise councils already have a major role in strengthening local ties between employers and education. The White Paper "Education and Training for the 21st Century" creates new opportunities to extend those ties through the extension of training credits, the expansion of compacts and involvement in the careers service, in partnership with local education authorities.
Will my right hon. and learned Friend join me in sending good wishes to the Canterbury Industrial Consultative Council whose representatives are having lunch today in the House of Commons and several of whose members are active with the new Kent training and enterprise council? Does he agree that the TECs provide the opportunity to bring training closer to the marketplace and to ensure that training in each county is exactly the training needed by local employers and by local industry?
I entirely agree with my hon. Friend. The Kent TEC is one of the 11 pilot schemes for the training credit and that is having a revolutionary effect on the attitude of young people in our county and in other counties.