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Adult Learning Grant

Oral Answers to Questions — Education and Skills – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 18th March 2004.

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Photo of Laura Moffatt Laura Moffatt Labour, Crawley 11:30 am, 18th March 2004

How his Department is encouraging take-up of the adult learning grant.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Skills and Vocational Education)

The Learning and Skills Council is working with further education colleges and other partners to promote the adult learning grant through college prospectuses, local advertising and mailshots. We plan to double the size of the current pilot from September by making the adult learning grant available across the south-east and north-east regions. It is currently available in 10 local learning and skills council areas.

Photo of Laura Moffatt Laura Moffatt Labour, Crawley

I am delighted to hear that the south-east is to be included in the programme of rolling out the adult learning grant. May I say that is excellent and welcome news in Crawley in particular, because those of my constituents who are in low-skilled jobs are keen to update their skills through our further education college? I thank the Minister for that initiative, which will provide them a good incentive, and I hope that it can be introduced as soon as possible.

Photo of Ivan Lewis Ivan Lewis Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Education and Skills) (Skills and Vocational Education)

It is indeed good news that my hon. Friend's constituents will benefit from the adult learning grant, which is about ensuring that people with few or no skills have access to education throughout their lives. It is making a reality of lifelong learning and providing a small amount of financial support to enable such learning. It is essential for the economic future of such areas as my hon. Friend's, but it is also right in terms of creating a more socially just and inclusive community. Getting more adults with low skills back into learning will directly benefit our aspirations for young people and will raise school standards.