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Further education needs more than rhetoric to deliver government's skills agenda, warns UCU

11 February 2014

Further education providers can't be expected to keep doing more with less as the skills budget is reduced, UCU warned today.

UCU was speaking in response to the Skills Funding Statement, which outlines a reduction of £200 million in the adult skills budget for 2014-15, despite £40 million being invested to support an additional 20,000 apprenticeship places. A further £250 million is due to be cut from the same budget by 2016, meaning that the adult skills pot will have reduced by a massive 19% in two years.
UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We welcome the government's continued recognition of the importance of further education in meeting the nation's skills needs, but are deeply concerned by the downward funding trend outlined in the Skills Funding Statement.
'The government's intention to expand apprenticeships is commendable, but the adult skills budget is reducing dramatically while ostensibly providing support for more learners. By narrowing the focus onto apprenticeships and traineeships, support for other vital skills provision will come under increasing pressure. The government needs to devise a long-term strategy for funding skills provision which won't compromise on the quality of learning opportunities.'
Last updated: 10 December 2015