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Government cuts could spell the end of adult education warns new research

25 March 2015

Adult education and training in England will not exist by 2020 if the government continues with its planned cuts to the adult skills budget warns new research findings released today.

The findings, from the Association of Colleges (AoC), come after the government announced plans to slash funding for adult education by 24% in the 2015/16 academic year. The AoC says health and ICT could be among the biggest losers as the government attempts to focus funding on apprenticeships.

Adult education and training has already been squeezed by funding cuts in recent years, with the number of adult students participating in Level 3 courses falling by 17.9 per cent between 2012/13 and 2013/14.

UCU agreed that the cuts could decimate adult education and called on the government to rethink its plans. Over 20,000 people have signed a petition opposing the cuts and MPs have shown their opposition by backing an early day motion in Westminster.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'These cuts are a devastating blow to colleges and risk decimating further education. Slashing budgets this harshly could be the final nail in the coffin for many of the courses that help people get back to work.

'Not everyone needs or wants to study an apprenticeship, but colleges are being forced to prioritise them over other kinds of courses. This approach will shut the door to hundreds of thousands of people who want to use adult education as a springboard for improving their skills.'

Last updated: 7 March 2019