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1 Dec 2005 : Column 789W—continued

Vocational Training

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assessment she has made of the effects on industry of vocational training in (a) Tamworth and (b) Staffordshire. [32029]

Phil Hope: The Department is committed to ensuring that everyone has the skills he or she needs to be employable and personally fulfilled. Our 14–19 and Skills White Papers set out our strategies for ensuring that education and training meets the needs of employers.

The Staffordshire Learning and Skills Council (LSC) is responsible for the effective planning and funding of learning to raise the skills of the workforce and the potential workforce. It engages through the year with providers and employers to ensure that provision matches employer skills demands.

Progress has already been made in improving the availability and quality of relevant vocational skills training to support local employers and local people:

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The data for NESS 2005 is due to be released before the end of December and Staffordshire LSC plans to monitor progress as soon as the data is validated and made available.

Separate information for Tamworth is not available.

Westgate College, Newcastle

Jim Cousins: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of students achieved five or more A* to C grade GCSEs at Westgate College, Newcastle in (a) the three years before Newcastle city council announced that it was to be closed and replaced by a city academy and (b) 2005. [32317]

Jacqui Smith [holding answer 28 November 2005]: The information for the three years prior to the announcement in November 2004 are given in the following table. Figures for 2005 are not available at school level until the publication of the School and College Achievement and Attainment Tables in January 2006.
Number and proportion of 15-year-olds(61) achieving 5+ A*-C grades at GCSE and equivalent(62)at West Gate Community College(63)

Number of 15-year-olds achieving 5+ A*-C at GCSE and equivalentPercentage of 15-year-olds achieving 5+ A*-C at GCSE and equivalent

(61)15-year-old pupils at the beginning of the academic year (ie31 August).
(62)Figures are for GCSE and equivalent qualifications for 2004. All previous years are for GCSE/GNVQ only.
(63)Newcastle city council issued a press release on 17 November 2004 stating the intention for an Academy to replace West Gate Community College.