From education to employment

Conservative Party manifesto round-up for FE, employability and skills

Over the last five years, Britain’s further education sector has suffered as a result of Labour’s constant re-organisations, bureaucracy, regulation and Ministerial meddling.

Now, with apprenticeship starts falling, new quangos being formed, and Britain’s economic position remaining fragile, Labour is cutting funding in both the further and higher education sectors.

People need to get relevant skills and training to get jobs and help the economy grow. Conservatives have a detailed plan of how we will boost apprenticeships and training in Britain:

  • By refocusing the Train to Gain Budget, A Conservative Government would create more apprenticeships and offer more pre-apprenticeship training places
  • We will improve the support given to businesses that take on apprentices, paying small and medium sized businesses a bonus for doing so
  • Conservatives would create a Community Learning Fund to help people re-establish their careers
  • We will create an all-ages careers service, so that people can get the advice they need

These policies alone will help us create over 400,000 new training and work-pairing places to help people develop their existing skills, or learn new skills.

We also want to set the further education sector free to do what it does best. Labour has created three new quangos, and brought local authorities back into the further education sector. All these extra bodies could make the problems of bureaucracy and waste worse for colleges and training providers.

A Conservative Government would create a single, streamlined Further Education Funding Council for England to administer skills funding, where money follows the choices of students, not Whitehall.

The choice is clear. Another five years of Labour’s bureaucracy, waste, incompetence and interference, or a Conservative Government that will invest in skills and set the further education sector free.

This election is your chance to help us deliver real and positive change in the further education sector.

David Evennett is the Conservative spokesman for Innovation, Universities and Skills

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