Clause 5

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Shadow Minister (14-19 Reform and Apprenticeships) 12:00 pm, 12th June 2007

As ever, the Under-Secretary speaks with great sincerity and commitment. The point that we want answered is what proportion of the adult courses that have been lost relate to employment? He is right to emphasise that those that do not are far from valueless, and that education is more than equipping people to get work. However, I am anxious about the number of courses that have been or are being lost that could lead to further study or that might directly relate to employment.

I do not expect the Under-Secretary to answer that off the top of his head, but it might be useful if he considered the matter and gave the Committee some information about the proportion of courses that fall into that category. Put simply, my worry is that we might be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. By focusing on accredited level 2 courses, we are narrowing the opportunity for people to return to education who could then move on to further learning, which might aid or facilitate employment. We need that information in order to get to the heart of the matter.