To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, with reference to page seven of her Department's policy brief, How increased Connectivity is Boosting Prospects of Rural Areas, published in December 2014, what assessment she has made of the effect of UK RuralSkills on farmers' management and business skills to date.
Management and Business Skills forms one of a number of contracts awarded under the Rural Development Programme for England skills framework. The contract was awarded to Traineast, which works with its UK Rural Skills partners to provide coverage across England. To date, under the Management and Business Skills contract, 3,973 training days have been completed with 2,444 (non-unique) participants taking part in training. Evaluation completed by trainees following training indicates that 99.96% will put the skills gained into practice. Delivery under the skills framework is ongoing and an evaluation will be carried out.