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Further Education: English Language

Business, Innovation and Skills written question – answered on 12th December 2011.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Shadow Minister (Equalities)

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions Ministers in his Department have had with the Association of Colleges on fee remission for English for speakers of other languages courses; and if he will make a statement.

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

The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and I meet regularly with representatives from the further education sector to discuss a wide range of issues.

Learners in receipt of jobseeker’s allowance or employment support allowance (in the work-related activity group) are eligible for full fee remission where English language skills have been identified as a barrier to entering employment. Further education colleges and training organisations also have local discretion to provide fully subsidised courses for people on a wider range of benefits where the training is to help them enter employment. The Government continue to contribute 50% towards English for speakers of other languages (ESOL) course fees for people who are settled here and not eligible for full Government funding. We will no longer fund ESOL courses delivered in the workplace.

Further education (FE) colleges and training providers are responsible for meeting the needs of their local community, and increased freedoms and flexibilities that we have introduced will help them respond and determine within their funding where this is prioritised.

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