The Government has set out its priorities and funding for the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), outlining the first stage in its longer term strategy to meets the challenges set out by the Leitch review of skills.
Overall, total DIUS funding for LSC spending for adult skills and apprenticeships will increase to £4.3 billion a year by 2011, helping deliver an increase in spending of 17 per cent on adult learning. The funding will provide over seven million training places over the three year spending review period from 2008/9.
Funding will be focused on training designed to improve job prospects and opportunities for further learning. Investment will be targeted in new priority areas where the greatest benefit will be felt.
Key improvements will include:
- A right to basic skills training where needed, coupled with the biggest ever investment in this area. DIUS will spend around £1.5 billion per year on first steps training – including over 3.6 million learners on ‘Skills for Life’ courses over the spending review period. To underline the Government’s commitment John Denham also published a new booklet ‘Skills – Investing in the first steps’ setting out the Government’s investment and vision for adult learners who have yet to obtain basic skills.
- A right to free, first-time full level 2 adult training (equivalent to 5 A-C GCSEs) through the provision of over 800,000 places in 2010/11 – a 30 per cent increase on 2007/08.
- The provision of over 500,000 full level 3 adult training places (equivalent to 2 A-levels) in 2010/11 an increase of 148 per cent on 2007/08. Free provision will be a right for those aged between 19 and 25.
- A doubling of Government investment in work based skills training to boost the skills and expertise of the workforce. The budget for the ‘Train to Gain’ programme will rise from £440m to over £1billion in 2010-11 supporting an expected 872,000 learners that year.
- Developing a joined up, one stop advancement service for adults to support people to identify training, develop skills, access child care support and find long term employment.
- Providing learners with ‘Skills Accounts’ to help fund skills training which will help drive the system to meet individual needs. By 2010/11 helping them access around £500 million of adult learning, increasing to nearly £1.5 billion by 2015.
To read the DIUS press release in full, visit the DIUS website.
To access the LSC Statement of Priorities and Grant Letter, visit the LSC website.