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Training providers call for FE budget freedom

FE’s £4.5bn budget should be opened up in line with the rest of the education system to be more responsive to the needs of employers and learners, according to the Association of Learning Providers (ALP).

Ahead of the government’s spending review on Wednesday, the ALP argues that the UK cannot afford for large portions of FE’s budget to continue to be ring-fenced for colleges.

“The coalition government has continued to uphold the previous administration’s adoption of the Leitch principles of a demand-led market driven by the choices of employers and learners,” said ALP CEO Graham Hoyle.

“Leitch also recommended a timetable, now four years old, that the market should also be completely open by 2010 to public, private and third sector providers. This hasn’t happened and the budgetary pressures mean that we cannot afford any further delay in implementing an open market policy.

“ALP members, and their employer customers too, would be at a loss to understand if BIS failed to follow the Prime Minister’s personal blueprint for greater choice and competition in all public service delivery.”

Susannah Fairbairn

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