West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges Directors Louise Tearle and Joanne Patrickson heard Rt Hon Anne Milton MP, Minister for Skills and Apprenticeships speak at the Association of Colleges’(AoC’s) Annual Conference in November.
During her speech Mrs Milton said: “further education is central to the challenge of delivering a prosperous future after Brexit”.
In response, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the AoC said: “The Minister has rightly identified that further education colleges must be at the heart of Government policy in a post-Brexit Britain. Across England, colleges provide high quality technical and professional education to 2.2 million every year. The Minister also rightly highlights how colleges are central to the Government’s ambition to extending opportunity and unlocking ambition for everyone. Our colleges are at the heart of the community and positively transform lives.
“However, despite a clear and personal commitment and passion for and support for our sector, colleges are struggling. Over recent years we have seen real term cuts in funding which inhibit the support and training colleges can offer and which people need. To survive and thrive after Brexit, colleges need to have more and secure investment. We need fairer funding for 16 to 18-year-olds; we need support for adults who want to retrain; we need capital investment to ensure our colleges have the latest facilities and equipment which match the best in the world; and we need to attract the best professionals to teach our future workforce.
“This is not a quick fix. The Minister has said she has been banging on the door of Treasury for funding and will lobby for more money for the sector. I hope she’s a great lobbyist and that she and we achieve a positive result in next week’s Budget.”
The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges works with colleges, training providers, employers and organisations to deliver ESF funded projects that meet the skills gaps and encourage inclusive growth in the Leeds City Region.
Find out more about the AoC Conference 2017 and its speeches.