IAG Funding Announcement

Wicks announces extra £52 million over three years for information, advice and guidance services for adults.

Lifelong Learning Minister Malcolm Wicks today announced an extra £52 million over the next three years for Information, Advice and Guidance (IAG) services for adults.

Mr Wicks said:

'I am delighted to announce today that we are making a substantial investment of £166 million for Information, Advice and Guidance services for adults over the next three years. In the first year there will be £43 million available, in the second year £53 million, and £70 million for the third year. This is an increase of £52 million over current planned expenditure for these services. It will go a long way in helping the Learning and Skills Council and learndirect to develop further the services available.

'IAG services currently provide free information and advice but we want them to provide in-depth guidance as well. I am also pleased to announce that, from this summer, we will be spending £5 million to pilot free in-depth guidance services to help the most disadvantaged in our communities. The pilots will measure how much guidance is needed, the time each session would require, the likely take-up and the cost of providing such a service.

'People need information, advice and guidance to help transform the desire to learn into a reality. Making the commitment to learn is one of life's most important decisions and like any major decision, it should be made on consideration of the full facts and implications.

'Comprehensive and impartial advice and information about learning opportunities and work is crucial to achieving our goal of achieving full employment. In some cases, it can genuinely change peoples' lives. Individuals - especially those who have been away from learning or work for a long time - need to be able to explore doubts and concerns, which may be holding them back from learning.

'Through our IAG Programme for Adults and the 75 local IAG partnerships, we have already made significant progress in improving access to, and the quality of, local information and advice services. But there is still more to do if we are to achieve our aim of having a consistently high quality service throughout the country.'

The DfEE launched the IAG initiative in January 1999. Local IAG services for adults are currently delivered by a variety of different organisations, including Careers Services, the Employment Service, educational institutions, and voluntary and community bodies. The IAG initiative set up local IAG partnerships to coordinate and improve the services available in each area (for more information about the locations of IAG services contact learndirect on 0800 100 900).