Skills White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills 12:33 pm, 22nd March 2005

My hon. Friend is absolutely right, which is why the development of sector skills councils is so important. Sectors, and industries, come together to define their own skill needs and the best way of delivering those for their sector. Certain sectors, such as in the film industry, have decided together that they want a training levy paid by all their members. We are examining how that has been working in practice, but I believe that about two thirds of all employers are paying the training levy. They have asked us to make it mandatory, and we are currently consulting on that. The key, however, is to consider the question sector by sector, and to ask sectors to identify the appropriate approach for them and what would make the most difference in terms of upgrading their skills.