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Lifelong Learning and Skills Development

Volume 708: debated on Monday 31 January 2022

One absolute priority is to ensure that everyone can obtain the skills that they need at whatever time in life is right for them. That is why last week we launched our Skills for Life campaign, which will promote skills offers among adults, including our level 3 offer of apprenticeships and skills bootcamps.

It was an enormous pleasure to welcome the employment Minister, my hon. Friend the Member for Mid Sussex (Mims Davies), to Wolverhampton last week, when we met jobseekers of many ages who were taking part in a “car maintenance for electric vehicles” course delivered by City of Wolverhampton College as part of the Department for Work and Pensions’ sector-based work academy programme or SWAP scheme. How can the Minister help providers like that college offer more courses of that kind, which are so valuable in helping people into work?

I commend the work that City of Wolverhampton College is doing on electric vehicle maintenance. When we see excellent providers working with employers, we also see the best outcomes for students, which is why we are investing an additional £3.8 billion in further education and skills over the current Parliament.

The truly outstanding Northern College in Barnsley is the only adult residential college in the north of England. Can the Minister assure us that it will continue to receive its residential uplift funding in future years?