FE – vital part of skills solution

24 June 2015

Responding to the report from Professor Baroness Alison Wolf – Heading for the precipice: can further and higher education funding policies be sustained? – David Hughes, Chief Executive of NIACE, said:

“This is the latest powerful voice joining a chorus of concern about how the lack of skills training opportunities for adults threatens this country’s future social and economic well-being.

“If the Government wants to fulfil its own ambitions and aspirations for a more productive Britain, halving the disability unemployment gap and creating 3 million Apprenticeships, then it must ensure that adults of all ages have opportunities to learn and to get on in work and in life. However, far too many people are missing out which not only threatens their own life chances, but damages the prospects for increased productivity in the workplace and for sustained economic growth.

“The Government’s focus on Apprenticeships is welcome but they are not the only answer. We need a new settlement, where more people are motivated to invest in their own training, supported by their employers. The Government has to support those people who are least likely to invest in training but would have the most to gain.

“The further education sector should be viewed as a vital part of the solution rather than being hit again and again with funding cuts. FE has shown it can change in the past and now we need to support institutions to adapt for a new future.”