Clause 5

Part of Further Education and Training Bill [Lords] – in a Public Bill Committee at 12:15 pm on 12th June 2007.

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Photo of Phil Hope Phil Hope Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Skills), Department for Education and Skills 12:15 pm, 12th June 2007

Yes—I was distracted and diverted away from the key point—my hon. Friend is absolutely right. There are many providers in the private sector, the public sector and the third sector that have the ability to reach out and contact individuals in communities who would otherwise not see themselves as returning to  learning by going to a college or school. That is the one thing that such people will not do—it is anathema to them.

There are innovations and new approaches that private providers in the third sector can take, particularly at a local level. There are partnerships through personal community development learning, which I have mentioned, andI hope to see that strengthened at a local level to engage people in learning. Those people may not necessarily be learning to get a qualification, as the learning may be for their own personal development or leisure.

I shall return to the clause. I want to confirm to the hon. Member for Daventry that the proposals are about removing a statutory requirement to establish an adult learning committee and a young persons’ learning committee. By removing that requirement, the clause will give the LSC much greater flexibility to respond to the complex, changing needs of learners, employers and communities.