§ 6. Mr. Barry Field
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment when he last met representatives from the Isle of Wight training and enterprise council to discuss delivery of training programmes.
§ Mr. David Hunt
I met the acting chairman of the Isle of Wight training and enterprise council two weeks ago, with my hon. Friend.
§ Mr. Field
Does my right hon. Friend agree that, although it is one of the smallest training and enterprise councils in the country, the Isle of Wight TEC holds its own among the giants in the country? Does he understand that, as the Isle of Wight does not have assisted area status, unlike most of Scotland and Wales, the island has to depend heavily on its TEC—rather more so than similar areas?
§ Mr. Hunt
I recognise that my hon. Friend has argued vigorously for assisted area status for the Isle of Wight, but he will recognise that that is a matter for my right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade, and the proposals made by him are now with the European Commission.
The Isle of Wight TEC does an excellent job and provides a good example of what can be achieved when the local Member works closely with the local TEC. Some Opposition Members could learn from that. I was interested to hear some of the imaginative and innovative ideas that were suggested and which I hope will be followed up.