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Vocational Training

Volume 487: debated on Monday 9 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what recent steps the Government has taken to provide training opportunities for people aged over 25 years. (253247)

I have been asked to reply.

People aged over 25 are eligible for all Government supported training for adults including apprenticeships. 27,200 adults aged 25 and over started an apprenticeship in 2007-08 and 16,800 between August and October in 2008-09. The Government are currently investing £4.5 billion in adult skills, through Train to Gain, Skills for Life and other work related training. There is now a legal right for all adults to get training up to national vocational qualification level 2 if they do not already have a qualification at this level.

The Department is also working with DWP to create a joined up employment and skills system that gives low-skilled and unemployed adults the skills and support they need to find sustained employment. The Employability Skills Programme has been designed to meet the complex needs of Jobcentre Plus customers, and Local Employment Partnerships aim to open up opportunities for people on benefits who are often overlooked in the labour market. The Government are making a reality of our commitment to integrate the employment and skills systems. The aim is that all of those out of work will get the help they need to address their skills needs, find employment and progress in work through continued skills development.