Stephen O’Brien – 2014 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Stephen O’Brien on 2014-04-09.

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what the evidential basis was of his decision to withdraw Government support from Cheshire Employer and Skills Development Limited (CE&SDL); what assessment he made of the performance of CE&SDL in (a) developing (i) work-based learning and (ii) any other skills, (b) encouraging apprenticeships and (c) other respects in the period (A) following its founding and (B) at the time it was required to cease its activities; and what representations his Department received for and against its decision to withdraw support.

Matthew Hancock

The Government did not withdraw funding from CE&SDL. In 2007, at the request of CE&SDL, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) transferred the contract for skills provision from CE&SDL to a successor legal entity, Total People. CE&SDL continued to operate when the contract was transferred to Total People but did not directly receive any further funding nor did it acquire funding as a subcontractor. It was dissolved as a company in April 2014. The Skills Funding Agency, as the LSC’s successor, continued to fund Total People, and still does so today.

Both the earliest and latest performance data available demonstrate a mixed picture. Prior to 2007 CE&SDL’s performance was below the national average. After 2007, and the transfer of contact to Total People, performance was stronger and sometimes higher than national average.

Neither the Government nor the Skills Funding Agency has received any representations about this organisation.