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    Responding to the election results overnight,

    kirsty mchugh ersa 100x100ERSA’s Chief Executive, Kirsty McHugh, said: “ERSA looks forward to working with the new government to ensure that we have a robust labour market that delivers for everyone. The election result points to the need for a much stronger domestic policy focus and the next government needs to focus urgently on welfare support, low pay, social mobility and opportunities for young people if it is to deliver a comprehensive Brexit deal that works across society. ERSA’s election ‘Minifesto’ points to some of the solutions that we believe should now be prioritised.
     
    “ERSA believes that the new government should develop an agenda that demonstrates leadership on the great domestic issues of the day, underpinned by a welfare system that can deliver transformational impact by supporting communities across the country. At the heart of this will be setting in train planning for its proposed Shared Prosperity Fund while also ensuring we fully allocate all of the crucial 2014-2020 European Social Fund pot. Additionally, to solve the UK’s great productivity challenges, the government should establish an independent in-work progression service, while also ensuring that all jobseekers are guaranteed access to high quality specialist employment support. ERSA also believes that the new government should go one better than the Conservative’s manifesto and maintain its previous laudable commitment to halving the disability employment gap.
     
    “The message from the electorate is clear: the government must refocus its activities, prioritising its domestic agenda. Only then will the government be able to secure a stronger post-Brexit Britain.”
     

    david hughes 100 x100David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “Last night’s election result has left us all in limbo. In the short term, the uncertainty and possible delays put even more pressure on some of the key operational decisions which DfE need to make very quickly.

     “Throughout this short election campaign, our message has been simple. For the UK to succeed in a post-Brexit world, this country must be more self-sufficient in skills. Colleges are ready to make this a reality. We need to develop a culture of lifelong learning and make this the norm in all communities for all people. To achieve this, colleges need to have the right investment. We will continue to push this message to the next Government, however this is formed.

    “We also have a very different dynamic in national politics and in Parliament. If we have a minority Conservative government or a coalition led by the conservatives then they will face a confident and more legitimate Labour opposition. Labour made gains on a platform which moves on considerably from the austerity focus of the last seven years. That will help us build the case for more post-16 investment.

    “The strong turnout from young people is good news. Colleges across the country have worked hard to encourage voter registration as well as running hustings and debates. We live in a participatory democracy, and getting young people engaged is good for all of us.”

     
    Stephen Evans LW 100x100Stephen Evans, Learning and Work Institue, comments: "After the last few years, we perhaps shouldn't really be surprised by another unexpected election result. It is not yet clear what form the next government will take or whether a further election will be needed in the coming months or years. And with Brexit negotiations due to start in less than two weeks, it is not entirely helpful that we don't know who will be negotiating or for what.
    "Nonetheless, the challenges we faced yesterday are still the challenges we face today. We need to secure a Brexit outcome that gets investment in people, skills and jobs: our #futureESF campaign continues. We need high quality technical and vocational education for prosperity and opportunity. And we need to invest in people so everyone has a fair chance in life.
     
    "And of course, all current government policies remain in place at this time: we need to keep engaging young people and adults in learning, and employers in investing in skills. When a new government and ministers are appointed, we will be working to secure the priorities for investment in people we set out in our pre-election manifesto. The phrase that springs to mind is: keep calm and carry on."
     

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