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Further Education (Over 55s)

Volume 450: debated on Tuesday 10 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what assistance for (a) further education and (b) life long learning is available for people over 55 years of age who have (i) been made redundant and (ii) been redundant for more than one year. (89298)

Responsibility for encouraging redundant workers, including those aged over 55 and redundant for more than one year, back into employment, education or training is shared between the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and the Secretary of State for Education and Skills. Both Departments along with their respective agencies Jobcentre Plus (JCP) and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) work closely together on large-scale redundancies to ensure that redundant employees have the skills they need to secure sustainable and productive jobs.

All those on jobseeker’s allowance or income related benefits and their dependants receive free tuition in further education. Unemployed people in England also have access to in-depth advice about their education and training options through the Learndirect one-stop telephone and on-line service.

In addition, we remain committed to supporting learning for its own intrinsic value and have established a safeguarded budget of £210 million pa for 2006/07 and 2007/08 for learning for personal and community development. Over half the participants on these courses are aged over 55.