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 Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Labour, Chatham and Aylesford 12:33 pm, 22nd March 2005

My right hon. Friend will be aware that the Workers Educational Association is the largest voluntary provider of education in the country. She referred earlier to assisting adults in navigating their way around learning, but is it not the case that organisations such as the WEA assist excluded and deprived groups in navigating their way into learning by opening doors and opening their minds? A formal qualification is not always the best way to get a foot on the first rung of the learning ladder; rather, it is more informal learning that enables the increase in skills levels that we want to see. What does my right hon. Friend have to say to organisations such as the WEA, and about the informal learning that is a vital and vibrant part of our communities?