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

This is a critical debate. The Minister will know that one of the biggest growth areas in the labour force is among the non-employed. Over the past15 years, a large number of formerly non-employed people has joined the work force. I am not speaking of  NEETS; I speak more of the mature women who return to work after bringing up the family. They often find their way back to work, through re-entry to education, after some time out of employment, and I want to tease out how many of them come in through adult and community learning, perhaps initially in non-accredited courses. I hope that he might look at that and bring back further information, as I am not clear about the numbers. I think that the Committee would benefit from having a feel for those numbers. He is right that it is not either/or, but we need some specificity about the significance of adult community learning as a route back into employment for the kind of people whom I have described.