Further Education Funding — [Sir Roger Gale in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 10:19 am on 2nd April 2019.

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Photo of Giles Watling Giles Watling Conservative, Clacton 10:19 am, 2nd April 2019

I agree with my hon. Friend. That is exactly what we are here to do, and judging by the comments from around the Chamber, I think that everybody else agrees with him as well.

I want this scheme to be a success, because I am sure that it would be particularly popular in my Clacton constituency. My area of Clacton lags behind the average in Essex and the national average for the number of members of the workforce without any qualification at all, which is why I encourage the Government to invest more in adult education. In fact, the only area in which we in Clacton beat the national average is the number of people who are economically active but have no qualifications; they make up nearly 10% of our workforce. I know from my conversations on the doorstep that people in Clacton have a real appetite for further education, and we have a great facility in Adult Community Learning Essex. I encourage the Government to take investment in adult learning seriously. It will pay great dividends in many areas, especially those such as Clacton, where many small and medium-sized enterprises are crying out for a skilled workforce.