HC Deb 10 January 2002 vol 377 c952W
20. Valerie Davey

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what measures she is taking to increase participation in further education among 16 to 18-year-olds. [23852]

John Healey

We are investing substantially in a wide range of policies designed to raise participation among 16 to 18-year-olds, including in further education. We have established the Learning and Skills Council to drive these forward and have put in place a number of measures which provide the support and incentives young people need to take up and succeed in learning. These include the Connexions Service, education maintenance allowances, new generation modern apprenticeships, and the new Connexions Card to be launched nationally in autumn 2002. Further education colleges will also play a central role in our plans to develop a coherent 14–19 phase of learning for young people. We will be publishing a Green Paper shortly setting out our plans in this area. Finally, with the Learning and Skills Council, we are continuing with our drive to improve standards in further education, underpinned by a rigorous, independent inspection regime.