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Older Workers: Industrial Training

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what (a) grants and (b) training schemes are available through his Department for people (i) over 55 years old and (ii) in retirement to learn new job skills. (190010)

All adults aged 19 plus, who are not in receipt of out of work benefits, can access the Adult Learning Grant (ALG), which pays up to £30 per week in term time to help with learning costs to study for a first full Level 2 or first full Level 3 qualification.

Our World Class Skills reforms will support individuals, including older people into sustainable employment and progression in work and in skills. We will give greater ownership and choice to individuals over their training through skills accounts backed up by a new universal adult careers service promoting personal advancement.

Similarly we are working with employers through Train to Gain and the Skills Pledge to meet skill needs and to ensure that all employees including older people have the basic skills, including literacy and numeracy and Level 2 skills (equivalent to five good GCSEs) needed to sustain and progress in employment. We are increasing funding for Train to Gain from £440 million in 2007-08 to over £900 million in 2010-11.

We are also investing some £1.5 billion in each of the next three years in learning below level 2 and progression learning, to help the low-skilled and those not in employment to improve their skills and secure sustainable employment.