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UCU backs OECD calls for reinstatement of EMA

8 April 2011

UCU today backed calls from the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) for the government to reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA).

In its latest Going for Growth report, the OECD said that improving the educational achievement of young people, by reintroducing the EMA, could boost youth employment in Britain, propel economic growth and help it cut a record budget deficit.
UCU said the revelations were deeply embarrassing for the government who plan to cut allowances for poorer students by £390m, and come after David Cameron praised the OECD for being 'one of the world's major international economic organisations'.
A UCU survey of EMA recipients, published in January, revealed that 70% would drop out of college if the financial aid was removed, and the union said that despite promises of 'targeted support' many could still be faced with that choice. More information on that story can be found here.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'David Cameron should follow his own advice and listen to the OECD. Getting rid of the EMA is going to price out thousands of poorer students from getting a college education and stop many from contributing to the economy.
'If the government is serious about boosting youth employment and social mobility, why is it cutting £390m from allowances and tripling the price of tuition fees?'


Last updated: 11 December 2015