Clause 29

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:30 pm on 14th June 2007.

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Photo of Roberta Blackman-Woods Roberta Blackman-Woods PPS (Rt Hon Hilary Armstrong, Minister of State (Cabinet)), Cabinet Office 3:30 pm, 14th June 2007

When I tabled these amendments and new clauses, interesting though they are, I did not expect them to spawn such a wide-ranging debate. I was pleased by the comments of my hon. Friends the Member for Sheffield, Hillsborough and for Great Grimsby, emphasising the importance of transition-stage support. I am grateful to the hon. Member for Brent, East for her concise and focused comments about the need to have clarity about which type of advice and support we are talking about.

I want to thank the Minister for his helpful comments. I note that the Government have done a lot to support young people in further education and training and to expand opportunities in post-16 education. I am pleased to hear that guidance is in the pipeline which might help to put a greater focus on some of these issues. When his Department looks at extending the compulsory school leaving age I urge him to ensure that these issues are high up the agenda and that some opportunity is given to extending the range of support that is available. I hope that he will keep a review of the Connexions service in mind and consider whether it is the correct body to provide all of this support. With that, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.