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 Ruth Kelly Ruth Kelly Secretary of State, Department for Education and Skills 12:33 pm, 22nd March 2005

I can only tell the hon. Gentleman that more adult learners studied at level 3 last year than did so in the previous year. As I said to one of his colleagues, we will safeguard local authority-funded provision for adult learners going forward, and I should also point out that I have not ruled out co-financing where that is appropriate. Some of the fee increases currently being discussed by the Learning and Skills Council could cost an adult learner up to an extra 19p per hour. However, I do think it right that, in certain circumstances, adults contribute to the cost of such learning, particularly at level 3, which is a qualification that enables them to benefit economically. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will welcome the provision in the White Paper. The national employer training programme and the safeguarding of adult learning provision will lead to a significant increase in the number of adults gaining basic skills, level 2 qualifications and, indeed, level 3 qualifications.