Skills White Paper

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:33 pm on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of Tim Boswell Tim Boswell Shadow Minister, Work & Pensions and Welfare Reform, Shadow Spokesperson (Business, Innovation and Skills), Shadow Spokesperson (Work and Pensions) 12:33 pm, 22nd March 2005

While I would welcome any long-term and lasting conversion to the cause of vocational skills, will the Secretary of State consider two matters in particular? First, will she consider the acquisition and accrediting of basic skills in the workplace, or at least in vocational settings, where those acquiring them are likely to see their relevance more clearly than in a classroom? Secondly, in relation to further education colleges, which will continue to be the major providers of adult skills, will she ensure that any increases—I fear that the genuine incremental increases announced today are modest ones—are not at the expense of other provision for adult learners in those colleges? The displacement effects from young persons' education have already put stress on the adult learners programme. We would all agree that the colleges are currently under severe financial pressures.