Vocational Training: North Cornwall

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th May 2019.

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Photo of Scott Mann Scott Mann Conservative, North Cornwall

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what steps his Department is taking to allocate additional funding to vocational training in order to improve social mobility in North Cornwall.

Photo of Anne Milton Anne Milton Minister of State (Education)

The further education sector plays a key role in ensuring quality vocational training opportunities and improving social mobility across England, including in North Cornwall. We have protected the base rate of funding for 16 to 19 year olds until the end of the current spending review period in 2020. Additional funding is provided through the 16 to 19 funding formula, including over £500 million across England in 2018-19 to support disadvantaged students and therefore improving social mobility. Overall, the government plans to invest nearly £7 billion nationally during 2018-19 to ensure that there is a place in education or training for every 16 to 19 year old.

Through the Adult Education Budget, we are continuing to invest in further education for adults aged 19 and above, including those who are furthest from the labour market, to support their progression to further study, employment or an apprenticeship. We are also supporting adults who have been motivated to move out of unemployment and are in low-paid or low-skilled jobs to upskill at no charge and to progress further.

We are creating 3 million high quality apprenticeships that will change the lives of apprentices and the prospects of businesses. Apprenticeships disproportionately benefit people from lower socio-economic backgrounds. Delivering more and better quality apprenticeships will ensure that more people from these backgrounds are enabled to gain the skills and training they need to build successful careers.

The European Social Fund (ESF) has been an important source of skills and employment funding used to support those furthest from learning and the labour market. Following Brexit, whilst we will no longer have access to the ESF, the government has committed to create a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to reduce inequalities between communities and help deliver sustainable, inclusive growth.

The department works closely with HM Treasury (HMT) in considering further education funding. We are considering the efficiency and resilience of the sector and assessing how far current funding and regulatory structures enable high quality provision, including vocational training. We continue to look carefully at these issues with HMT in preparation for the Spending Review.

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