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Homeless People

Volume 699: debated on Wednesday 12 March 2008

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What proposals they have to increase investment in future services to raise the skills levels of homeless people. [HL2346]

We recognise that education, training and employment are a key route out of homelessness and the cycle of disadvantage. We are working closely with colleagues across government, at the Learning and Skills Council and in the voluntary and community sector to tackle the wider causes and symptoms of homelessness, including improving access to learning and skills provision, benefits and jobs. We believe one of the most effective ways we can help homeless people is to ensure that they have access to the skills they need to gain employment and to help them transform their own lives.

Through our World Class Skills reforms, we are committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all learners, including the most vulnerable in our communities. Our targets cover workers and learners of all ages and backgrounds and our reforms balance skills and economic prosperity with fairness and inclusion.

The funding settlement announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review represents the biggest ever government investment in skills. Of the £3 billion we are investing in each of the next three years in adult skills participation, we will invest some £1.5 billion annually in learning below level 2, to help the low skilled and workless learn, progress and achieve sustainable employment.

Our vision for the workforce of the future is of one unrivalled in its skills, dynamism, equity and inclusiveness. We are working with employers through train to gain to meet skill needs and to ensure that all employees have the basic skills, including literacy and numeracy and level 2 skills, to sustain and progress in employment. We also want employers to fill more of their vacancies with people who are further away from the labour market and to actively engage with their sectors and localities to lead on appropriate reform. We are increasing funding for train to gain from £440 million in 2007-08 to over £900 million in 2010-11.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What additional resources they will provide to charities that offer housing support to homeless asylum seekers, refugees and economic immigrants. [HL2349]

The Government have recently announced homelessness grant funding of £50 million for the voluntary sector and £150 million for local authorities, who in many cases fund voluntary sector organisations, over the next three years. This is the largest ever cash injection for homelessness services, and there are no current plans for further funding over and above this three-year settlement. Homelessness grant is used to support delivery of the Government's targets on homelessness and rough sleeping. Eligibility for public services, including housing, is determined by migrants' immigration status.