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Unemployed: Training

Volume 494: debated on Thursday 25 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (1) what estimate she has made of the marginal cost of providing the 75,000 additional training places under the six month offer to the unemployed; (271709)

(2) how long on average a training course offered as part of the six month offer to the unemployed will last;

(3) what qualifications can be gained as a result of the training places to be provided as part of the six month offer to the unemployed;

(4) who she expects to deliver the 75,000 new training places to be provided as part of the six month offer to the unemployed.

I have been asked to reply.

The Government are committed to ensuring that people facing redundancy and long term unemployment are able to access the help they need to improve skills and find employment. Since April 2009, the government has made available a new package of help for the unemployed including a £100m package of training for 70,000 people under notice of redundancy, newly redundant, or close to the labour market. This is part of a wider package of advice and guidance available to jobseekers.

The Government are also investing £83 million over the next two years to support 75,000 people who reach six month JSA claim point to up-skill or re-skill in an area linked to the needs of the local labour market in order to help them get a job. Provision will be tailored to meet the individual's needs and we expect learners typically to follow Skills for Life, Level 2 or Level 3 vocational training. Training will be linked to the needs of the employers in the local job market. Learners can progress onto qualifications from this provision through the Adult Learner Responsive budget or through Train to Gain if they are in employment.

In the period funded through this programme, we expect learners to achieve a significant step on the path to the qualification of their choice. However, we recognise that it may take longer for them to complete the full qualification and additional support will be available to enable them to do that through Train to Gain or Adult Learner Responsive funding. At this time it is not possible to confirm the average length of training overall which will depend on the nature of that training, and whether it is full or part time.

Contracts have initially been allocated to colleges, and will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that there is a good coverage and learners' needs are being met. A list of providers with whom initial allocations have been agreed has been placed in the House Libraries. However, allocations may change in response to demand and provision may be extended to other providers in the future in certain circumstances.

A further package of help for young unemployed people was announced in the Budget and includes £122 million for training.