Colleges call on the next Government to invest in more opportunities for students
The Association of Colleges publishes its General Election Manifesto
The Association of Colleges (AoC) has published its General Election Manifesto setting out its recommendations for the next Government. The post-Brexit UK needs a new culture of lifelong learning to help the country become more self-sufficient in skills. Colleges are vital to achieving that and stand ready to support more young people and adults improve their skills to get on in life and work. The next Government will need to invest more in further education and work with colleges to face the skills challenge.
Our message to the next Government is simple:
- For the UK to succeed in a post-Brexit world, this country must be more self-sufficient in skills.
- Colleges are the only institutions who can make this a reality.
- We need to develop a new culture of lifelong learning, and make this the norm in all communities, for all people.
- To achieve this, we need to have the right investment, after too many years of starving colleges of the cash, support and policies which are needed.
Further education students in England currently receive 17 hours tuition a week compared to an average of 30 hours in most high-performing countries. In addition, over one million adult education training places have been lost in the past 10 years. AoC believes that as we leave the EU, whilst we must remain outward-looking and welcoming to people from all backgrounds, we must do this from a position of strength where we are self-sufficient in skills.
David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Colleges are vital for delivering the education and training needed for people of all ages. They boost productivity, strengthen the economy and they are eager to deliver more in Brexit Britain. After years of under-investment the next Government needs to support colleges to develop a culture of lifelong learning in which every young person and adult has opportunities to learn throughout their lives.”
AoC’s General Election Manifesto sets out six recommendations for the next Government which AoC believes, that if implemented, will increase opportunities for young people, boost life chances for adults and allow the country to prosper.
The manifesto has two themes: sustaining economic growth and a fair and effective system, each with three recommendations:
Sustaining economic growth
1. A skills strategy with increased investment – for every part of the country
2. A period of stability to build quality apprenticeships
3. A fair funding formula for schools and colleges
A fair and effective education system
4. Building strong colleges and institutions
5. Personal learning accounts to boost adult skills
6. Support for people to access education and training
AoC’s General Election Manifesto can be downloaded at: www.aoc.co.uk/manifesto.