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Basic Skills: Preston

Volume 504: debated on Monday 18 January 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what funding his Department and its predecessors have made available to improve adult (a) literacy and (b) numeracy in Preston since 1997. (311135)

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) provides funding to further education (FE) colleges and training providers to support adults (aged 19 and older) undertaking courses in literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages (ESOL).

Since the launch of the Skills for Life Strategy in 2001, it is estimated that £5 billion has been invested in Skills for Life provision (for those aged 16 and older) up until 2008. Nearly 6 million adults (aged 19 and older) across England have taken courses to improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills since 2001.

LSC funding is not allocated at the local authority level. Planned investment in Skills for Life at a national level is based on estimated levels of activity for an academic year. The amount of funding routed through Adult Learner Responsive and Train to Gain routes for Skills for Life is estimated at nearly £600 million for 2008-09 financial year and around £630 million for 2009-10 financial year, as set out in the Skills Investment Strategy 2010-11 (November 2009). The actual amount spent on Skills for Life literacy and numeracy provision will depend on learner and employer demand.