I felt it was important to say a word about this clause on the grounds that we have not said anything on clause stand part for a long time. We do not want it to be thought that the Committee is not scrutinising the Bill with appropriate diligence.
According to the explanatory notes, clause 117
“enables regulations to be made allowing for any part of this Chapter to apply to this particular group of learning providers”— the learning providers in question being independent providers of education or training for 16 to 18-year-olds. Clauses 117 and 118 deal only with those organisations. However, the explanatory notes go on to explain that this group of providers
“do not receive any state funding from the LSC.”
Is it really necessary to regulate the sector further? Is there any evidence that those providers are failing to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of young people? If not, and the current regulatory regime works for them, why do we need to change it? We should never legislate unless there is a proven need to do so. I look to the Minister to establish that proven need in the mind of the Committee.