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 Phil Hope Phil Hope Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Skills), Department for Education and Skills 12:00 pm, 12th June 2007

There is agreement across the Committee about the points that the hon. Gentleman makes. Adult funding has increased by 48 per cent. since 1997. That is a real terms increase of 48 per cent. Indeed, over the next two years adult education funding will increase by a further 7 per cent. So this is a track record of growth and investment in adult education. Of course, we had to ensure that that funding is focused on our priority, which is—this is the point that the hon. Members for Daventry and for South Holland and The Deepings are making—those adults, who, let us be honest about it, were let down by education 10 or 20 years ago.

These people are in the work force now and do not have basic literacy skills. They do not even have a first full level 2 qualification, the basic platform for employability. Through the train to gain initiative and the growth in the demand-led approach, which meets the needs of employers, we will both raise the skills of individuals in the work force and meet the needs of employers to improve their productivity and their profitability.