Rishi Sunak

Colleges leaders have challenged the Chancellor to be bold in the spending review next month and continue to rewrite the rulebook on public spending. They argue that now is not the time to revert to shrinking public finances, and that only bold investment in people and skills will truly enable the country to ‘build back better and differently’.

Government will rightly be investing in railways, science and innovation centres, town centres and retrofitting for net zero as we emerge from the pandemic. But leaders in vocational and technical education have warned that without parallel investment for young people and those already in the workforce who require retraining, these plans and ambitions for a ‘levelled up’ country will not be achieved.

A £4.6bn injection into colleges over the next three years would support young people and adults to have the skills to build that infrastructure and subsequently start to reduce widening skills gaps and provide opportunities in the most disadvantaged communities.

As part of the Association of Colleges’ spending review submission, they have challenged the government to dig deep to follow through on its ambition to put skills front and centre of the economic rebuild and recognise that investment in people and training is the catalyst to creating a stronger, fairer and more resilient society.

On submission of the spending review asks on behalf of the England’s further education colleges, Chief Executive of Association of Colleges, David Hughes said:

“Rebuilding the country and meeting the challenges of the future is going to require determined action on long-standing inequalities across the education system, rising to the challenges posed by climate change and recognising that without colleges, levelling up will remain merely a slogan.

Unprecedented disruption and single year funding have created an unstable footing for colleges, but this a chance to put meat on the bones of various good proposals set out in the Skills for Jobs white paper. I urge the Chancellor to be as bold and brave as he was protecting the country from the consequences of Covid-19 when he rises to the despatch box next month.”

AoC is clear that if further education funding continues to severely lag behind both university and school funding – currently annual public funding per university student averages £6,600 compared to £1,050 for adults in further education, then this year’s further education white paper and skills bill including the new lifetime skills guarantee and the lifetime loan entitlement risk being wasted endeavours.

The Association of Colleges have outlined three priority areas which require action:

  1. Closing skills gaps and workers of the future - There is a pressing need for action on skills to support growth sectors (for example health, construction, digital and the green economy), help for those who have lost their jobs retrain, filling urgent skills shortage jobs and to build a stronger technical education system.

  2. Addressing lost learning and creating a fairer education system – Longstanding inequities and deficiencies in education have been worsened   after unprecedented challenges caused by Covid-19 for young people. To build back better in education, colleges need to be supported to help students catch up and combat “learning loss”. The current education recovery will help but is not enough to deal with the scale of the challenge. Choosing not to invest in the future of young people, at this crucial moment, will only lead to wider opportunity gaps and greater costs down the line.

  3. Education is the key to reaching a net zero carbon economy - colleges have a key role to play in the urgent transition to a net zero carbon economy. Timely and sustainable investment in green skills for young people and supporting the transition of people from old to new sectors will enable the country to meet its targets. Alongside being able to respond in adequate time to close the future skills supply gap and lead on and embed climate education.

You may also be interested in these articles:

#AntiRacismInAction : Wales | Episode 4

Sponsored Video

Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page