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Digital Technology: Adult Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 20063, tabled on 24 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, pursuant to the Answer of 3 February 2020 to Question 9674 on Digital Technology, how much funding his Department has allocated to provide adults with (a) no and (b) low digital skills to undertake new digital qualifications free of charge.

Answered on

3 March 2020

From August 2020, we are introducing an entitlement to essential digital skills so adults with no or low digital skills will have the opportunity to undertake new digital qualifications free of charge.

The new digital skills entitlement will refocus funding from out of date qualifications to new qualifications based on new national standards. This will be funded through the £1.34 billion Adult Education Budget (AEB) which fully funds or co-funds skills provision for eligible adults aged 19 and above from pre-entry to level 3, to help them gain the skills they need for work, an apprenticeship or further learning.

The Education, Skills and Funding Agency is responsible for allocating the AEB in non-devolved areas. Colleges and training providers in non-devolved areas continue to have the freedom and flexibility to determine how they use their AEB and therefore how much they decide to spend on digital skills. They do this by working with stakeholders including Local Enterprise Partnerships and their Skills Advisory Panels to determine what the appropriate distribution of funding should be to best meet local needs. In areas where the AEB is devolved, the specified Mayoral Combined Authorities and the Mayor of London are responsible for making provision for the funding of the digital entitlement as part of their devolution deal, alongside the existing English and maths, level 2 and level 3 statutory entitlements.