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Taking action in higher education

UCU calls for end to delays in college building crisis

4 June 2009 | last updated: 11 December 2015

UCU today called for an urgent resolution to the building crisis in further education, after the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) said there would be further delays in announcing funding.

The LSC has been criticised after 144 college building projects were put on hold, and the union said it was wrong that many colleges were still being left in limbo.
In May UCU and the other further education unions met with the minister for further education, Sion Simon, for talks about the crisis, and today it repeated its calls for additional treasury funds to help solve a problem that could threaten as many as 10,000 jobs in the construction industry.
UCU general secretary Sally Hunt said: 'This is the last thing staff need right now. It's wrong that some colleges are being left in limbo, especially when so many were encouraged to begin work, only to be told that the money had run out. The government must act now and provide additional funds to support further education in meeting the challenges of the recession.
'Colleges can play a key role in helping to retrain adults, especially those made redundant, but they need a proper infrastructure. The sector desperately needs the funding for new purpose-built buildings and up-to-date equipment.'
In April Sir Andrew Foster wrote a critical report that singled out 'a lack of leadership and long-term planning' for creating a problem that it described as 'predictable and probably avoidable.'