§ Mr. Boswell
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment if he will make a statement on recent developments in Government action to widen participation in further education. 
§ Mr. Mudie
We are committed to widening participation in further education and have taken action to achieve this.
We have secured an excellent financial settlement for further education which will enable significant progress to be made towards securing an extra 700,000 students in further education in 2001—02 compared to 1997—98. This expansion is principally focused on widening participation to those who have not traditionally taken advantage of learning opportunities. We have also announced a new Further Education Student Support package, targeted at those most in need, which will come into force from September.
The introduction of the University for Industry and Individual Learning Accounts, from next year, will both assist in removing barriers to learning and widening participation in further education.