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AELP calls for Chancellor to ‘go for growth’ and use his Spring Budget to prioritise skills funding

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Ahead of the Spring Budget, set to take place on 6 March, the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP) has urged the Chancellor to go for growth by prioritising skills funding. 

AELP has long argued that better funding of skills is essential for the growth the country needs to drive up living standards and fund public services. In Autumn 2023, AELP published Skills Means Growth, its vision for the future of the further education sector, highlighting the link between skills and economic growth. This builds on AELP’s recent Save Our Skills System campaign and open letter to the Secretary of State for Education calling for urgent action to stabilise the skills sector. 

In its submission to HM Treasury ahead of the Spring Budget, AELP focuses on five specific asks of Government: 

  1. Closing the gap between the DfE’s apprenticeship programme budget and the apprenticeship levy take. 
  2. Focusing on the value of an all-age apprenticeship system. 
  3. Removing barriers to support for SMEs. 
  4. Increasing social mobility through the skill system by aligning the different components more effectively. 
  5. Investing in adult education funding. 

Ben Rowland, AELP Chief Executive, said:  

“The UK economy is suffering from huge skills gaps across various different sectors. Without an injection in funding for skills training, we will continue to suffer from skills shortages and low productivity gains. That impacts economic growth, harms social mobility and makes us all poorer – it also means we struggle to fund effective public services.

“The Chancellor’s Spring Budget is a great opportunity to change course. We urge him to go for growth and invest in a properly funded skills system that delivers for learners, employers and the UK economy.”

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