The Scottish Funding Council has earmarked £7.7m to help colleges keep up with soaring demand as a result of the recession.
Colleges that serve areas in Scotland with the highest unemployment areas among 17-24 year olds will be singled out for the funding, which is being allocated to 23 colleges across 14 local authority areas.
Chris Travis, chief executive of Scotland’s Colleges, which represents all 43 colleges in the country, welcomed the announcement.
Mr Travis said: "By awarding this funding, it is clear that the Government recognises the vital role colleges play in fighting the recession. This funding will allow colleges to respond better to the needs of students and businesses during these challenging economic times.
"Targeting the funds to colleges with the highest demand will make a huge difference to these areas, which have also been hit hardest by the recession. While this funding is hugely welcome, the demand for courses is currently at a level that, despite the additional funding, it still won’t enable colleges to take everyone on the course of their choice. Also, due to the way the funding is allocated, there are some areas of Scotland where an increased demand for student places won’t get addressed.
"Nevertheless, it is hugely important that colleges continue to do everything possible to provide people with opportunities to build the skills needed to support Scotland’s economic recovery, and this funding award goes some way to achieving that."
(Pictured: Chris Travis, chief executive of Scotland’s College)
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