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Vocational Training

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what proportion of qualifications which count towards the Skills for Life target are (a) wholly and (b) partly funded by the Learning and Skills Council. (166890)

For the Skills for Life 2010 PSA target, the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) has adopted the aim of achieving the whole of the PSA target and therefore aims to deliver 2.25 million learner achievements by 2010. Prior to 2007-08, there were contributions from Jobcentre Plus and the Offender Learning, for which LSC now has assumed responsibility for planning and funding.

The data on Skills for Life achievements to July 2006 indicate that a total of 1,759,000 people have achieved a first Skills for Life qualification since 2001. Of those achievements, 1,610,000 were delivered by the LSC, 138,000 were delivered through the Offender Learning and 12,000 were delivered through programmes for Jobcentre Plus clients funded by the Department for Work and Pensions.

The LSC has also committed to funding 100 per cent. of the new Skills for Life targets indicators for 2011, as agreed through the 2007 comprehensive spending review and set out in the LSC's statement of priorities published in November 2007.

Adult literacy and numeracy courses which contribute to the target are fully funded by the LSC and are free to learners.

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what criteria are required to be met for a qualification to be considered as qualifying for the Skills for Life target. (166891)

The generic criterion is that all qualifications that count to national targets have to be accredited by QCA for inclusion in the National Qualifications Framework and approved by the Secretary of State under Sections 96 and 97.

For the 2010 Skills for Life PSA target this includes GCSE in maths and English, key skills in communication and application of number and the certificates in adult literacy, numeracy and ESOL skills for life and will include the newly developed functional skills in English and maths, when achieved at entry level 3, level 1 and level 2.

For the 2011 adult literacy and numeracy indicators this will continue, although measurement of progress towards the target will only count those people achieving a qualification at functional levels—level 1 for literacy and entry level 3 for in numeracy.