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AoC responds to IFS report on Investment in Training and Skills

12 October 2023

Responding to today’s IFS report on Investment in Training and Skills, Association of Colleges chief executive David Hughes said:

“Today’s report by the IFS is stark and shows the long-term neglect of adult education. A drop in the number of publicly funded qualifications started by adults of 70 per cent in around 20 years is dramatic – and many of these qualifications will have been delivered in colleges.

“Providing education opportunities for adults is crucial if we are seeking to create a fairer society and tackle the existing inequalities in educational achievement. It is also essential if we want to address the UK’s productivity challenges and boost economic growth.

“Along with the recommendations in the IFS report, such as reforming the apprenticeship levy and reviewing the funding of adult skills courses, we need a system which can prioritise spend across the whole of tertiary education by economic sector, region, level and type of students.

“A tertiary system delivering lifelong learning for all would involve understanding how the system can meet the needs of those in low paid jobs, adults without the necessary digital or English and maths skills, those aged 19 to 25 and adults on Universal Credit.”