Adult Education Funding

Oral Answers to Questions — Treasury – in the House of Commons on 29th January 2019.

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Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

What recent discussions he has had with the Secretary of State for Education on the adequacy of funding for adult education.

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We fully fund adults to take English and Maths to level 2. From 2020, we will also be funding them for basic digital skills. Those are the vital skills that people need to get a job and get on in life.

Photo of Wera Hobhouse Wera Hobhouse Liberal Democrat Spokesperson (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

In the last 10 years, total enrolment of adults in further education colleges has dropped by 62%, including at Bath College in my constituency. Enrolment in health and social care is down by 68%; in engineering, it is down by 68%; and in construction, it is down by 37%. Does the Minister agree that this situation is of huge concern and that the Treasury must look at serious reinvestment in adult skills as part of the upcoming spending review?

Photo of Elizabeth Truss Elizabeth Truss The Chief Secretary to the Treasury

We do fund the core courses that are going to help people get work and get on in life, but we also provide adult learner loans so that people can help shape their own future. In 2017-18, we spent £220 million on those loans.