Bill Rammel, Minister for Further Education, has welcomed the funding rise for colleges announced by the Learning & Skills Council (LSC) this week. The LSC confirmed the increased budget for colleges bringing the total spending to more than £1billion over the last three years. This brings the total budget for participation in Further Education in 2005/6 to £4.99billion, compared to £3.91billion in 2002/3.
The Skills White paper issued in March 2005 outlined the Governments spending plans in four key areas; education and training for 16-18 year-olds, young apprenticeships, improving basic skills of literacy and numeracy and those undertaking their first Level 2 qualification. The White Paper made the case for focussing on adults without basic skills and Level 2 qualifications, and young people who may otherwise leave education at 16.
“A World Class FE System”
Mr Rammell said: “I am committed to creating a world-class further education system. We have invested more money in the sector than ever before ““ an increase of 25% or £1billion over the last three years. But with poor adult literacy and numeracy costing the economy as much as £10billion a year; one of the worst drop out rates at 17 internationally; and too many adults without the equivalent of five good GCSEs we must use this money in the most effective way.
“The White Paper that we published earlier this year made the case for a system that prioritises those learners who are in the greatest need and set the scene for a fair partnership between the Government, employers and the individual.”
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