To ask Her Majesty's Government what funding they intend to make available to enhance the availability of skills training at privately owned and operated skills training centres in the Midlands.
The government previously announced on 31 August 2019 that it will invest an extra £400 million in 16 to 19 education in 2020-21. This is the largest injection of money in a single year since 2010 and represents an increase of 7% in overall 16 to 19 funding. As part of this, the base rate of 16 to 19 funding will increase by 4.7% in academic year 2020/21, from £4,000 to £4,188, for all types of 16 to 19 providers, including privately owned and operated skills training centres.
We are also continuing to invest in education and skills training for adults through the Adult Education Budget (AEB) (£1.34 billion in 2019/20 and 2020/21). From 2019/20 academic year, approximately 50% of the AEB has been devolved to 6 Mayoral Combined Authorities (MCAs), including the West Midlands, and to the Mayor of London, acting where appropriate through the Greater London Authority (GLA). These authorities are now responsible for the provision of AEB-funded adult education for their residents and allocation of the AEB to providers.
Independent training providers will have a key role to play in delivering the plans announced by my right hon. Friend, the Chancellor, on 8 July including for more apprenticeships, traineeships, and high value courses for school and college leavers. Additional funding is available to deliver these priorities and the way this will be made available will be confirmed shortly.
Any requests for information on the topic of adult provision for residents in a devolved area, such as the West Midlands, should now be directed to the individual MCA. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) will continue to be responsible for the remaining AEB in non-devolved areas.
Both further education colleges and independent training providers are autonomous organisations and as such they are free to deliver provision to meet the needs of local learners and labour market.