Clause 2

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:00 am on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of Bill Rammell Bill Rammell Minister of State (Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education), Department for Education and Skills 11:00 am, 12th June 2007

I will not pre-empt the Government’s response to Lord Leitch’s comprehensive report. [Interruption.] No, the Bill does not pre-empt it. There is a clear consistency and consensus between this Bill, which focuses on the supply side, and the arguments advanced by Sandy Leitch.

The hon. Member for Daventry raised issues concerning reform of the Learning and Skills Council and costs, which we will consider in detail later in our proceedings. I reflected long and hard on some of the statements made on Second Reading, and on the wholly extraordinary and erroneous claims by the Conservative party about the proportion of administration expenditure in the LSC’s overall budget. I hope that at the end of our debate some of those accusations will be withdrawn, because the proportion of expenditure on administration under the LSC has reduced from 4.6 per cent. to 1.9 per cent. of overall expenditure.

The hon. Member for Daventry asked me explicitly what savings the current restructuring exercise would deliver. The current restructuring will engineer savings of up to £40 million per annum. That needs to take account of all the changes, including the removal of the 47 local LSCs. On the non-executive side, through these changes we will reduce non-executive participants from 750 to 150, which will put things in much better shape.