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Skills (Prisons)

Volume 412: debated on Friday 11 April 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what action he is taking to encourage the acquisition of skills by (a) prison officers and (b) prisoners. [107716]

We are providing substantial additional investment to improve the quality and quantity of prison education. Funding of £77 million in 02–03 increases to £97 million in 03–04, £122 million in 04–05 and £137 million in 05–06, including in each year £12 million for vocational training which is transferring from the Home Office to the Department for Education and Skills. This additional investment will support prisons in exceeding the record numbers of around £37,000 basic skills qualifications and 80,000 work skills qualifications achieved in 02–03. It will support increases in core provision and also target funding to support developments in infrastructure and quality improvement.The Prison Service is part of the Governments 'Skills for Life' strategy which includes national projects for developing basic skills for staff and prisoners who are able to use new national curriculum tests that look to improve their basic skills.