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Vocational Training

Volume 485: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps his Department plans to take to ensure that people who lose their jobs in the current economic downturn will have the necessary skills and qualifications to re-enter employment. (243828)

The Government announced in October 2008 that we are setting aside £100 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) to deliver integrated employment and skills support for those facing redundancy. The pre-Budget report on 24 November announced that the funds available now total £158 million and form part of a wider package on employment to support retraining, skills development and job search for those facing redundancy or already looking for work.

Support will be carefully targeted to help, for example, people from sectors experiencing significant job losses and will help the Learning and Skills Council, with local colleges and training providers working closely with Jobcentre Plus to make sure those people most affected get access to the services they need.

The Department is working closely with DWP and BERR to develop the package of support for people facing redundancy and further details will be announced shortly.