To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills
(1) how much her Department spent on in-house training on (a) literacy and (b) numeracy (i) in total and (ii) per head in each year since 2002;
(2) how many employees in her Department requested training to improve their (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills in each year since 2002;
(3) what steps she is taking to promote uptake of the national tests in adult literacy and numeracy among employees of her Department.
Within my Department, the prime responsibility for developing and coaching staff lies with line managers who are best placed to assess individual needs. Most learning takes place on the job and is supplemented by centrally provided basic skills development through the Department's internal learning and development unit. Since 2002 the internal learning and development unit has spent £7,000 on basic skills activities.
In addition activities take place across the Department which incorporate elements of basic skills within them. It is not possible to separate these out or quantify costs.
Since 2002, 17 people have requested training from the learning and development unit. In addition, there will be other staff who are developed by their line managers where records are not held centrally.
The Department's basic skills framework encourages staff to sit the national tests to gain accreditation and recognition for their learning. The national tests are, typically, part of recognised basic skills programmes.