Skip to main content

Further Education: Finance

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his policy is on the use by colleges of (a) ring-fenced and (b) general funding provided by his Department to respond to local and regional priorities; and if he will make a statement. (319160)

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC)—and from 1 April the Skills Funding Agency—has responsibility for the funding of post-19 further education and skills delivered through colleges and training organisations.

For 2010/11 academic year, the main funding streams available to colleges for post-19 learning are the Adult Learner Responsive and Employer Responsive budgets. Within these, Government funding is prioritised towards basic literacy and numeracy skills and full level 2 and full level 3 qualifications that provide the skills for adults to enter into and progress in employment and further learning.

It is for the LSC to agree with colleges the broad level outcomes that they expect to deliver for this funding. The actual amount paid will depend on how colleges respond to demand from learners and employers in line with local and regional priorities. Regional skills priorities will be articulated in regional priority statements by regional development agencies.

In addition to Adult Learner Responsive and Employer Responsive funding, some colleges and training organisations also receive Government funding to support a clearly defined set of outcomes. For example funding for the training element of the Young Person’s Guarantee is to support 18 to 24-year-olds who have been unemployed for six months or longer to undertake specific employment focused training. The funding will therefore respond to meeting a local need.