§ Mr. Gerald Bowden
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what action he proposes to improve education opportunities for adults who are unemployed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Brooke
It is the responsibility of the local education authorities, together with other providers, to decide how the educational needs of unemployed adults in their areas can most effectively be met. Many commendable local initiatives have already been taken. My right hon. Friend believes nonetheless that further progress could be helped by a centrally funded development programme involving the evaluation of innovative forms of provision, the identification and dissemination of good practice, and the mobilisation of all the relevant interests including voluntary agencies who are anxious to help.
My right hon. Friend has accordingly decided to initiate such a programme in collaboration with local authorities and others and has set aside funds of about £0.5 million in 1984–85, rising to £1 million in each of the years 1985–86 and 1986–87 for this purpose.