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More money for community-based learning, says Wicks


More money is on the way for adult learning, following an announcement from Lifelong Learning Minister Malcolm Wicks today.
Malcolm Wicks
The minister announced the latest in cash boosts today to help support initatives based around community projects for learning. The amount of funding being made available to the incoming Learning and Skills Council for adult learning will increase to £167 million over the next two years to help fund projects in disadvantaged communities to encourage adults to return to formal learning and improve literacy and numeracy skills.

Speaking to the Coalfields Learning Initiative Partnership conference in Mansfield, Mr Wicks said:

"This country has a proud tradition of providing adult education in local communities. That kind of education can be particularly important in helping people who lost out at school to take the first few steps back into learning, to enhance their skills and to improve their lives and those of their families and communities. The big increase I am announcing today shows the long-term commitment we are making to this work."

"Next year we will be providing £153 million of recurrent funding through the LSC for adult education provided by local education authorities, and in 2002-03 it will rise to £167 million. Also in that year we are announcing £16 million of capital funding to improve facilities for adult education – the first time for many years that there has been any capital investment by Government in this public service. This new injection of capital should allow local education authorities to make significant progress in improving the facilities that local communities use."

The announcement follows the statement made in November by Education and Employment Secretary David Blunkett that an extra £600 million would be made available to support the development of the incoming Learning and Skills Council.

Commenting at the Training and Employment Network conference in December, Jacqui Henderson, Chief Executive, TEC National Council said that the arrival of the Learning and Skills Council for proper next April was likely to mean more money for learning but reduced levels of output-related funding, standard contracts for audit, health and safety, payment and funding systems throughout England,


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