Responding to today’s Budget announcement, the National Union of Students (NUS) said more Apprenticeships were to be welcomed but that continued silence on the replacement to EMA could be hugely damaging.
Aaron Porter, NUS President, said: “The Chancellor’s continued silence on the successor scheme to the Education Maintenance Allowance, which provides vital support to young people from poorer families, is deeply disappointing. The decision to scrap EMA is disastrous in itself but the lack of an adequate replacement is further damage the prospects of many young people.
“We welcome the aspiration to create more apprenticeships but this needs to be backed up with resources and support if access to this form of study is to be widely taken up by employers. The aspiration to create a number of new apprenticeships fails to take account of the limited progress towards previous targets and will go only a short way to meeting the huge demand for this mode of study and training, let alone properly address the need for progression in vocational learning.
“The creation of university technical colleges has the potential to improve address the current poor recognition of the value of further education, and colleges could benefit from partnerships with well-funded universities. However, this is not an alternative to ensuring proper resourcing for existing colleges that do so much for our economy and society.”