[holding answer 9 June 2009]: The Government are investing £5 billion in adult skills in 2009-10; this investment will fund a record three million adult learners.
In addition to this, in the light of the economic downturn we have made available a significant package of support, focused on providing opportunities for those out of work to gain the skills to enter sustainable employment.
This includes £83 million to fund an additional 75,000 further education (FE) places over the next two years for those who have been out of work for six months or longer. FE providers in Derbyshire have successfully bid for £1.6 million of this package. We are also investing £100 million to support around 70,000 places in employment-focused activity for those out of work or under notice of redundancy. £3 million of this investment is planned to support 2,200 learners on response to redundancy programmes in Derbyshire.
Nationally, we also spend £210 million per year on informal adult learning, which can be delivered through a range of local providers.
The former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills published the Learning Revolution White Paper in March 09 which sets out a cross-Government strategy for informal learning in the 21st Century, with £30 million additional spend in 2009-10.
Further, for 2009-10 we are providing £21.5 million to support the key role that trade union and their union learning representatives can play in driving up demand for learning and skills in the workplace.