In your report `Adult Learning in free fall' (FE Focus, April 18), Alan Tuckett says that this trend will mean an end to informal adult learning in five years' time. This is simply not the case.
Three quarters of a million adults enrolled in these courses, subsidised by the public purse, over and above those who took part in full programmes of learning to get the skills needed to get a job, or progress in a job.
Alan will also know that many people are now undertaking informal adult learning in new, non-traditional ways. Many older people, for example, are taking courses run by the University of the Third Age.
In January this year, we launched a wide-ranging consultation into the future provision of informal adult learning.
As a government, we have needed to take some tough decisions over the past few years to make sure we were able to prioritise funding towards longer courses, to improve the skills levels of our nation's workforce.
However, we are clear that over the next three years there will be pound;210 million per year for informal adult learning, and this money is protected.
Bill Rammell, Minister for Lifelong Learning, Further and Higher Education.