Adult Education: Greater London

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 6th September 2011.

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Photo of Rushanara Ali Rushanara Ali Shadow Minister (International Development)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what plans he has for future provision of adult education in (a) Bethnal Green and Bow constituency and (b) the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

Photo of John Hayes John Hayes The Minister for Universities and Science, The Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Skills are vital to achieve sustainable growth, prosperity, social mobility and fairness. The Skills Funding Agency is responsible for funding arrangements, and has made an allocation of £14,151,665 for post-19 further education to colleges and training organisations in the London borough of Tower Hamlets for the 2011/12 academic year. This includes support for adult apprenticeships as the programme at the heart of the skills system we are building. The agency does not hold specific data relating to the constituency of Bethnal Green and Bow.

As well as apprenticeships, this investment will fully fund basic literacy and numeracy qualifications for those who left school without basic reading, writing and mathematics, and foundation learning and first full level 2 and level 3 qualifications for young adults. We will also fully fund units and full qualifications to support unemployed people into work who are in receipt of active benefits. The Government will continue to invest in training outside those areas where full subsidy is available, with the costs shared between the Government and the learner or employer.

From 2013/14, FE fee loans will be introduced for learning at Level 3 and above for those aged 24 and over.

Our investment for 2011/12 will also support Informal Adult and Community Learning in Tower Hamlets. Informal learning is an important part of the wider learning continuum and comprises a broad range of provision. We are currently reviewing nationally how to maximise this form of learning's contribution to initiatives such as building the Big Society through learning for personal development, digital inclusion and motivating people from disadvantaged groups and supporting their progression.

As part of our wider reforms, we have provided greater freedoms and flexibilities for FE colleges and training organisations, including simplifying funding so that colleges can manage their budgets more flexibly in line with priorities. This will place them in a better position to respond to the needs of learners, employers and communities to whom they will be increasingly accountable.

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