Clause 6

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm 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 12:15 pm, 12th June 2007

I think that those comments were directed at the hon. Member for South Holland and The Deepings rather than at me.

I strongly agree with the hon. Member for Daventry about the importance of individual learning accounts. If he examines the commitments that we gave in the further education White Paper, he will see that we have made it clear that from September we will trial individual learning accounts at level 3. We all know the difficulties that we had with the original notion of individual learning accounts, but virtually everyone to whom I have spoken in the further education and training sector has acknowledged that that initiative, although there were flaws in its design structure, unleashed something in personal commitment to education and training that we should value and capture. That is why, in my view rightly, we are looking to trial those learner accounts from September.

On the specific arguments, the clause is about ensuring that there is a duty in relation to diversity and choice.