To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how much his Department plans to spend on adult learner grants for adults aged 25 years and over completing their first level three qualification in each of the next three years.
The Adult Learning Grant (ALG) has been available throughout England since September 2007 and during its pilot phase (from 2003) showed that it was successful at helping more individuals raise their skill levels through completing their training and gaining a qualification. It is intended to help low skilled individuals in work on low incomes achieve their first full Level 2 or first full Level 3 qualification. The grant offers up to £30 per week.
The Department has a budget of £32 million for ALG for each of the next three financial years (2008-09, 09-10 and 10-11), which will be allocated in line with applications from adults supported by ongoing marketing of the scheme. Since it began in 2003-04, over 43,000 learners have been helped by ALG. Evaluation of pilots has shown that 80 per cent. of ALG funded learners study for a Level 3 qualification of which around 12 per cent. of learners were aged 25 and over.