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Training: British Nationality

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills whether eligibility for the new training places announced on 16 November are restricted to British citizens. (173170)

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Statement of Priorities 2008-11 and the joint Grant Letter to the LSC from my Department and the Department for Children, Schools and Families published on 16 November set out the Government’s funding strategy for learning and skills over the comprehensive spending review period (2008-09 to 2010-11).

The funding strategy reaffirms the Government’s commitment to up-skilling British people to provide them with the skills required in a more competitive labour market, to get them off benefits and into jobs and to help them to advance from low skilled to higher skilled jobs. We will continue to help those who need to improve their skills—the overwhelming majority of whom, but not all, are British.

The eligibility rules apply to any learner wanting to access the LSC funded learning places the Government announced on 16 November. For example, British citizens who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for the three years prior to the start of their course will be eligible for funding from the Learning and Skills Council (LSC). In addition, a national of any European country (or the spouse, civil partner or child of an EU national) who has been ordinarily resident in the European economic area (EEA) for the three years prior to the start of their course, will also be eligible for LSC funding.

Other categories of learners, including EEA migrant workers, nationals of non-EU countries, refugees and asylum seekers may also be eligible for LSC funding. The full set of eligibility criteria for access to LSC funded provision is set out in full in the LSC Learner Eligibility Guidance 2007/08. This can be found at